Oil fell on Thursday amid fears that crude demand will be threatened by a possible economic recession in the U.S. and in other important global oil consumers.
U.S. crude oil settled at $93.71 a barrel decreasing $1.96 or 2.1 percent on the New York Mercantile Exchange on Thursday. London Brent crude fell $2.15 or 2.3 percent to $92.22 per barrel on the ICE Futures Europe Exchange.
Concerns that the U.S. economy could slow down have increased, with some specialists expecting that other global economies may fall into recession. On Wednesday, Goldman Sachs Inc., warned of a U.S. recession this year.
Thursday, Tetsufumi Yamakawa, chief economist at the company in Tokyo said in a note to clients that the probability of Japan to fall into a slowdown has risen to a danger level of 50 percent.
Previously, the European Commission reported on Monday that Europe's retail sales fell in December to the lowest in two years. In November retail sales fell the most in 10 years as Germany, France and Spain's industrial production declined.
The U.S. Energy Department reported yesterday nation's crude oil inventories declined 31.8 million barrels, a higher amount than analysts expected.
Concern at the world's top oil consuming nation has risen amid a climate depressed by a housing recession and credit markets difficulties.