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Oil prices tumble, benchmark under $100 for first time since May

Oil prices tumble, benchmark under $100 for first time since May
A gas station attendant services a customer in Hoboken, New Jersey on January 24, 2015. Oil prices dropped Tuesday as gasoline prices tumbled. File Photo by John Angelillo/UPI | License Photo

July 5 (UPI) -- The U.S. crude oil benchmark West Texas Intermediate fell below $100 and the international benchmark Brent crude lost 9.93% on Tuesday amid fears of an economic recession.

WTI tumbled to $97.89 Tuesday afternoon while Brent held at $101.66. It was the first time West Texas Intermediate traded under $100 since May 11.

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The likelihood of a recession coupled with shifting demand because of high prices is creating a tightness in the global oil balances, Ritterbusch and Associates said.

"[T]he oil market appears to be homing in on some recent weakening in apparent demand for gasoline and diesel," the firm said, according to CNBC.

In response, gasoline futures in New York dropped more than 30 cents per gallon in intraday trading, its lowest in more than two months.

According to AAA, the average price for regular gasoline around the country fell to $4.80 per gallon. The price of regular gasoline stood at $4.848 a month ago, but still much higher than the $3.134 price at this same time last year.

"As expected, and for the third straight week, average gasoline prices have fallen to their lowest level in over a month," Patrick De Haan, head of petroleum analysis at GasBuddy, said in a statement.

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"The price of wholesale gasoline has plummeted, providing price relief as millions of Americans hit the road for the holiday weekend. While we may see prices decline into this week, the drop could fade soon if oil prices reverse, especially with strong demand over the holiday."

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