Page last updated at 20:17 GMT, Monday, 15 September 2008 21:17 UK

Oil falls more than $5 a barrel

Petrol customer
Slowing global economic growth may curb global energy demand

World oil prices have shed more than $5, ending below $100 a barrel for the first time in six months, spurred by concerns about the global economy.

With banking giant Lehman Brothers filing for bankruptcy protection, US light sweet crude shed $5.47 to settle at $95.71 in New York.

London Brent also fell sharply, down $5.20 to $92.38 a barrel.

News that Hurricane Ike had not damaged refineries as much as feared also contributed to the fall in prices.

Concerns over the financial health of the banking sector - and its wider global impact - were deepened by the news that fellow investment bank Merrill Lynch had agreed to be bought by Bank of America.

Merrill had been struggling with bad debts of more than $40bn (22bn).

And uncertainty about the future of insurance giant AIG also weighed on the market.

"Oil sold off in the aftermath of the collapse of Lehman Brothers and the buyout of Merrill Lynch," said Phil Flynn, an analyst at Alaron Trading in Chicago.

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