The price of oil just dived below $50 for the first time in 2017

Photo by Francois Nel/Getty Images

LONDON — The price of West Texas Intermediate oil, the key US benchmark, on Thursday dropped below $US50 a barrel for the first time since December, extending big losses seen Wednesday.

As of 11:20 a.m. GMT (6:20 a.m. ET), WTI crude had fallen roughly 2.2% on the day and traded at $US49.17 after a sharp decline just before 10:10 a.m. Crude briefly dropped below $US49 just before 11 a.m.

WTI most recently traded at lower than $US50 a barrel on December 15.

The fall comes after the latest inventory data from the Department of Energy on Wednesday showed supplies rose by 8.21 million barrels to 528.4 million barrels. That’s the highest since record keeping began in 1982, according to Bloomberg. That initially pushed oil prices down 5% on Wednesday evening, but the data appears still to be affecting market sentiment.

Here is the chart:

Get the latest Oil WTI price here.

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