As the U.S. dollar touched its best level in more than two decades and amid concerns that increasing interest rates could push major economies into recession, oil prices fell by almost 5% to an eight-month low on Friday.
By 10:09 a.m. EDT (1409 GMT), Brent futures were down $4.35, or 4.8%, to $86.11 per barrel, while U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude was down $4.58, or 5.5%, to $78.91.
Both benchmarks are now technically oversold, with WTI on course to settle at its lowest level since January 10 and Brent at its lowest level since January 13.
For the week, WTI was down around 7% and Brent was down about 6%; this is the first time since December that the benchmarks have declined for four weeks in a row.
Also down by more than 5% were U.S. gasoline and diesel futures.
Following the hefty 75 basis point increase in interest rates announced by the U.S. Federal Reserve on Wednesday, central banks all over the world increased their rates as well, increasing the possibility of global economic slowdowns.