Crude oil prices have reached a four-year low after Saudi Arabia unexpectedly cut the price of oil sold to the US.
Brent crude fell to near $82 a barrel as worries about global growth also spooked investors.
Earlier, the European Commission reduced its growth forecasts for the eurozone.
Investors are concerned about the US oil industry in the face of slowing growth and lower prices.
Crude oil prices have reached a four-year low after Saudi Arabia unexpectedly cut the price of oil sold to the US
Some worry that low oil prices could hurt domestic US producers dependent on high prices for profitability.
The price cut also sent shares in many energy firms lower, pushing down all three US share indexes.
Surging revenues from the US oil boom have led to calls on the government to remove regulations restricting the sale of US crude oil abroad.
In the interim, the growth in domestic oil production has helped the US trade deficit, as the US has become less dependent on importing foreign oil.
Separately on November 4, the Commerce Department’s latest release showed that the US trade deficit unexpectedly widened in September as exports hit a five-month low, mostly due to economic weakness in Europe.
The Commerce Department said the trade gap increased by 7.6% to $43.03 billion, as China and eurozone orders decrease and the strength of the US dollar hurt exports.
US consumers are facing higher gasoline prices at the pump as wholesalers sell crude oil onto them at rising prices, Lundberg Survey has said.
The Lundberg Survey said the national average price of self-serve, regular gas was $3.51 on July 27, up from $3.41 on June July 13.
The survey of 2,500 gas stations, that comes out every other or every third week, indicated that the rise was the first in the last 14 weeks.
Gasoline prices fell over 14% from a recent peak of $3.967 a gallon set on April 6 before rising last week. The record high is $4.112 set on July 11, 2008.
Trilby Lundberg, who conducts the survey, in an interview said the rise was because crude stopped falling and wholesalers began passing the higher price onto the consumer, something that was not seen in the early part of the month.
US consumers are facing higher gasoline prices at the pump as wholesalers sell crude oil onto them at rising prices
The price of crude, which Lundberg said “dictates more than any other factor what happens to gas prices”, settled Friday at $90.13 per barrel. That price had been as high as $110.55 as recently as March 1.
U.S. benchmark West Texas Intermediate ended the week higher after data showing a slower U.S. growth rate could open the door for more monetary easing when the Federal Reserve meets on Tuesday.
Gasoline prices have fluctuated greatly during the turbulent economic climate that has presided since 2008.
According to The Week, from 2002 -2008, the average price of regular gas went from $1.06 to $4.11 before dropping again in 2009. Since 2009, meanwhile, prices have more than doubled.
The devastating recession saw millions thrown out of work and demand for gasoline fall. Prices lowered for a time in 2009 before rising again.
The reason for this is the ever-changing market cycles of supply and demand around the world.
Crude oil prices are set on the world market and gasoline prices have been rising since 2000.
According to fuelfix.com, increased production of crude oil would change the expectations of oil speculators. This would, in turn, lower crude oil prices and gasoline prices.