THIS STORY HAS BEEN FORMATTED FOR EASY PRINTING

Oil closes under $98 per barrel

Oil fell 4 percent to settle at $97.18 per barrel in New York. Oil fell 4 percent to settle at $97.18 per barrel in New York. (Mark Lennihan/ Associated Press)
Associated Press / March 16, 2011

E-mail this article

Invalid E-mail address
Invalid E-mail address

Sending your article

Your article has been sent.

Text size +

NEW YORK — Oil prices fell sharply on deepening fears about Japan’s economy.

Investors worried about diminished demand for oil and other products in Japan, the world’s third-largest oil importer. However, Wall Street analysts expect that Japan will eventually increase imports of oil, coal, and natural gas.

Benchmark West Texas Intermediate crude for April delivery dropped $4.01, or 4 percent, to settle at $97.18 per barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange. Brent crude fell $5.15, or 4.5 percent, to settle at $108.52 per barrel on the ICE Futures exchange.

The uncertainty over how long it could take Japan to recover triggered a sell-off in other commodities as well, as stock markets fell around the world.

Gasoline pump prices across the United States fell slightly for the first time in nearly a month to a national average of $3.556.