Oil is officially in a bear market.
West Texas intermediate crude oil futures fell more than 1% to settle near $US48.55 per barrel in New York.
Crude oil has now fallen by about 20% in the last six weeks.
On Monday, WTI slipped below $US50 per barrel for the first time since early April.
And after a brief rebound, oil crossed the mark again on Wednesday after data showed more evidence of a supply glut. Data from the American Petroleum Institute showed a weekly build in inventories that topped forecasts. And, the Energy Information Administration’s weekly data showed a build in stockpiles last week after two weeks of declines.
Oil’s fall part of a larger rout in commodities. On Thursday, copper slumped to a six-year low. Iron ore prices also weakened, and gold remains in the red.
Here’s a chart showing the slump in WTI futures on Thursday:
And here’s a picture of a bear, in case you’re disappointed: