(EnergyAsia, April 16 2013, Tuesday) — Oil prices sank to nine-month lows as global crude benchmark Brent and US WTI crude joined other commodities in a mass sell-off triggered by panic over spreading economic worries in North America, Europe and Asia.

Brent could soon break US$100 support after touching US$100.02 early in New York trading on Monday, while WTI fell to a low of $87.86 a barrel. Brent, which had threatened to surge to US$120 a barrel in early February, last fell below US$100 in July 2012.

Adding to the on-going crisis in Europe, China’s economy unexpectedly grew at a much slower 7.7% rate than an expected 8% in the first quarter of 2013.

Oil has also been hit by reduced forecasts for global oil demand growth by the International Energy Agency, OPEC and the US Energy Information Administration (EIA). Several analysts said oil demand in the developed economies have peaked and will decline in coming years.