U.S. West Texas Intermediate fell 3.37% to settle at $47.09 per barrel. Earlier in the session WTI was down more than 5.8%, and at the low of the day traded at $45.88, its lowest level since Jan. 2019.
WTI is down 12% for the week, and is 29% below its 52-week high level.
International benchmark Brent crude hit $50.97 at the low, its lowest level since Dec. 2018.
“Current forecasts of crude oil demand have fallen off a cliff. As China is the largest consumer in the world, the unclear impact of the coronavirus is driving WTI lower and lower,” KKM Financial founder and CEO Jeff Kilburg said.
Oil prices continued their steep decline on Thursday, with U.S. West Texas Intermediate crude falling more than 5% at the low to $45.88 per barrel — a price not seen since Jan. 2019 — as fears of the coronavirus outbreak, and what it could mean for crude demand, continue to batter prices.