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Oil falls below $100 after bleak financials

Posted by seumasach on September 16, 2008

NEW YORK (AP) — Oil prices closed below $100 a barrel for the first time in six months yesterday, tumbling in another dramatic sell-off as the demise of Lehman Brothers and the sale of Merrill Lynch deepened worries about the economy.

Crude prices shed more than $5 a barrel and have now given up virtually all their gains for the year, extending a steep, two-month slide from record levels above $147 a barrel.

Analysts said investors feared that the upheaval in the financial sector could trigger another round of commodities liquidation — especially with Lehman likely to unwind its holdings.

Light, sweet crude for October delivery fell $5.47 to settle at $95.71 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange — oil’s first settlement under $100 since March 4. Earlier, prices dipped to $94.13, the lowest in seven months.

Crude has fallen more than $50, or 35 percent, from its all-time trading record of $147.27. Other commodities traded mixed yesterday, with energy futures down but gold, silver and most grains trading higher.

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