Oil fell to the lowest level in almost eight weeks in New York on concern that Greece will default on debt payments, leading to slower global economic growth and lower fuel consumption.
Futures tumbled as much as 3 percent as European finance ministers met today in Luxembourg to determine whether Greece has done enough to mitigate the default threat. Oil pared earlier declines after an index of U.S. manufacturing unexpectedly increased in September.
Crude for November delivery fell $1.11, or 1.4 percent, to $78.09 a barrel at 10:11 a.m. on the New York Mercantile Exchange. Earlier, it touched $78.09, the lowest price since Aug. 9, when futures reached a 10-month low of $75.71 in intraday trading.
Brent oil for November settlement slid 83 cents, or 0.8 percent, to $101.93 a barrel on the London-based ICE Futures Europe exchange after falling as low as $100.71. A close below $101.32 would represent a decline of more than 20 percent from the April 8 settlement price of $126.65 a barrel, meeting the common definition of a bear market.