Crude Oil Plunges Below $80 a Barrel

Recently, light, sweet crude was down $6.91 in New York to $79.68 a barrel, putting the contract 45% below its all-time high near $148.
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Crude oil prices tumbled anew Friday as fears built that economies around the world are slowing, which will lead to weaker demand for petroleum products.

Recently, light, sweet crude was down $6.91 in New York to $79.68 a barrel, putting the contract 45% below its all-time high near $148, reached less than three months ago. Brent crude was losing $4.51 to $78.15 a barrel.

Heating oil was down 18 cents to $2.24 a gallon, and gasoline futures were falling 18 cents to $1.84 a gallon. Natural gas was lower by 11 cents at $6.72 per million British thermal units.

Stocks in the energy sector were falling hard.

Exxon Mobil

(XOM) - Get Report

and

ConocoPhillips

(COP) - Get Report

were each losing more than 10%, and

Chevron

(CVX) - Get Report

was weaker by 7%.

BP

(BP) - Get Report

was down 4%, and

Royal Dutch Shell

(RDS.A)

gave back 6.8%. The

US Oil

(USO) - Get Report

ETF, which tracks crude prices, was shedding 6.2%.

This article was written by a staff member of TheStreet.com.