Oil prices plummeted to a one-year low below $83 a barrel today in European trading as investor fears of a severe global economic downturn sparked a panicked sell-off. "The whole market has lost confidence in everything," said one commodities strategist. "Everyone is worried about global growth, and oil is the front line commodity for that. There's just a lot of panic and fear."
Light, sweet crude for November delivery was down $3.85 to $82.74 a barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange by midmorning in Europe, the lowest since October 2007. OPEC said yesterday it will hold an extraordinary meeting Nov. 18 to discuss how the widening global financial crisis is affecting oil prices. "OPEC is trying to jaw-bone the price up," said the strategist, "but they'll have to come into the market because no one is going to be believe just jaw-boning."