Crude oil prices plunged 6 percent on Wednesday, diving below $35 per barrel for the first time since 2004 as data showing a shockingly large build-up of U.S. gasoline supplies fed fears that a global surplus was still growing, Reuters reports.
The sell-off, the biggest one-day drop for global benchmark Brent futures since the start of September, takes losses this year to more than 8 percent, a descent stoked by worsening Chinese economic data, the world’s No. 2 oil consumer, and a fierce row between Saudi Arabia and Iran that some say may be more bearish than bullish.
Brent futures fell $2.19 to settle at $34.23 a barrel. Earlier, it fell to as low as $34.13, its lowest level since the start of July 2004. U.S. crude futures fell $2.00 to settle at $33.97 a barrel, its lowest close since February 2009.