Oil prices fall amid market uncertainty
OIL prices have dropped to their lowest since before the Russian invasion of Ukraine following volatile trading.
US oil prices fell on Tuesday to their lowest level of the year, with Brent crude - the global benchmark used to price over three-quarters of the world's traded oil - finishing at below $80 per barrel.
The drop below $80 was the second of 2022, caused by investors fleeing the volatile market due to economic uncertainty.
Data from the US government showed an unexpectedly large build-up of fuel, feeding demand fears.
Tuesday's drop followed a rise of Brent crude the day before by almost two percent to $87.25 a barrel.
That rise came amid concerns a new cap on the price of Russian crude would disrupt supplies in the coming months.
Leading oil analyst at commodity market intelligence firm Kpler, Matt Smith, told the Reuters news agency that oil speculators were "charging for the exits amid a flight from risk assets".
"It's been quite the three days - with OPEC+ deciding not to further cut production on Sunday, the toothless start of the Russian price cap and sanctions yesterday, and a rout in equity markets today," he said yesterday.
Ed Moya, a senior market analyst at OANDA, said on Tuesday: "The crude demand outlook is getting crushed as we are in a slowdown basically across all the major economies. Supplies seem plentiful over the near-term and that has everyone hesitating on what was one of the easiest trades of the year."