Oil dips below $100 a barrel for the first time since early May

The price of West Texas Intermediate crude fell nearly 10% on Tuesday, falling below $98 a barrel. Brent oil fell more than 10% to below $102 a barrel.

It is the first time the WTI has fallen below $100 since May 11. That was also the last time Brent, which tends to trade slightly higher, was below $102 a barrel. Brent hit a low of $101.10 a barrel in afternoon trading Tuesday, before regaining some of that drop. But it was still below $102, lower than Monday’s close at $113.50 a barrel. Brent hasn’t been below $100 since April 25.

Wholesale gas futures also fell, falling 35 cents a gallon in afternoon trading, or 9% for the day.

The national average cost of a gallon of gasoline at the pump is now $4.80, according to the latest AAA reading, one cent less than Monday and 8 cents from a week ago. Gas prices peaked at $5.02 per gallon on June 14.

Rising fears of a recession is the main driver of the latest oil and gasoline sales futures, says Tom Kloza, global head of energy analysis at OPIS.

Until recently, investors in oil and gasoline believed that there were few market forces to keep prices in check in the short term. “There is now a sighted a huge downside risk linked to the recession risk,” he said.

This story is under development and will be updated.

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