The price of Brent Crude oil has fallen below $50 a barrel for the first time since May 2009. It fell more than a dollar to $49.92 a barrel in early trading on Wednesday before edging back above the $50 mark. Slowing global growth and increased supply of oil and gas have pushed prices sharply lower in recent weeks.
The price of oil traded in the United States, known as West Texas Intermediate crude, has already breached the $50 threshold. Many observers expect the price of oil to fall further as North American shale producers continue to supply increasing quantities of oil and gas and Opec resists calls for cuts in production to support prices.