New York March 15 2023: Oil prices plunged $5 a barrel to their lowest in more than a year as unease over Credit Suisse spooked world markets and offset hopes of a Chinese oil demand recovery.
Early signs of a return to calm and stability faded after Credit Suisse's largest investor said it could not provide the Swiss bank with more financial assistance, sending its shares and other European equities sliding.
"We definitely have seen the oil market separate themselves from oil inventories and we’re more focused on a larger meltdown of the global economy," said Phil Flynn, an analyst at Price Futures Group.
Brent crude fell $5.03, or 6.5%, to $71.98 a barrel by 12:34 a.m ET (16:34 GMT).
U.S. West Texas Intermediate crude (WTI) was down $4.76, or 6.6%, at $66.58, breaking through technical levels of $70 and $68 and extending the sell off.
Volatility in Brent and WTI was at its highest in more than a year and both entered technically oversold territory on Wednesday.
On Tuesday, both benchmarks had shed more than 4% to three-month lows, pressured by fears that the collapse of Silicon Valley Bank (SVB) last week and other U.S. bank failures could spark a financial crisis that would weigh on fuel demand.