The price of Brent crude temporarily fell below $50 per barrel on Wednesday morning for the first time since May 2009, as fears of weak demand and a glut in global supply continued to weigh on sentiment.
Brent crude for February delivery was trading at $49.99 a barrel at around 7.55 a.m. GMT on Wednesday, before ticking slightly higher. It marked the first time since May 1, 2009 that it had traded below the key $50-per-barrel mark.
The benchmark has continued to hit fresh 5-½-year lows this week along with U.S. crude, which has fallen below $48 and was trading at $47.17 on Wednesday morning.
The commodity price has become a leading indicator for asset markets, with a dip in price roiling stock markets over recent sessions. It has also led to a flight to safety, with the yield on the U.S. 10-year Treasury falling below 2 percent on Tuesday for the first time since October.