Crude oil prices slid more than 3 percent Wednesday on fears of a slowdown in global economic growth. U.S. stocks also closed lower, with major indexes all down more than 1 percent and yields on the benchmark 10-year Treasury sank to a record 1.64 percent.
Crude oil trading in New York fell $3.30, or 3.64 percent, to $87.46, and copper dropped more than 2 percent. Gold, unlike other commodities, rose sharply despite a surging dollar, which cut the euro to less than $1.24, and falling equities. Traders said it appeared that the yellow metal may be regaining its status as a safe haven after months of trading with risky assets.
Prospects for global economic growth dimmed as China declined to launch another massive stimulus initiative and euro zone troubles -- especially concerns about Spanish banks -- intensified.