U.S. light, sweet crude [CLCV1 98.13 -4.41 (-4.3%) ] fell by $4.31 to $98.23, after ending about 2.5 percent lower on Thursday.
Brent crude oil futures [LCOCV1 112.57 -3.51 (-3.02%) ] were last $4.04 lower at $112.04 a barrel on Friday, after racking up a 3 percent loss in two straight sessions, the benchmark's biggest two-day percentage loss since February.
"The poorer U.S. economic data from the past two days have sparked doubts that oil demand will recover in the US, the world's largest consumer of oil," Commerzbank oil analysts Carsten Fritsch and Eugen Weinberg said in a note. "Furthermore, the current supply surplus is weighing on prices."
Analysts are seeing increasing downside risks to prices. Nic Brown, Natixis' head of commodities research, said the bank's models indicate fair value for Brent at $110 a barrel.
"Anything north of $120 contained a large amount of political premium as the negotiations between Iran and the West appeared to make some progress, and clearly some of the premium has been taken out," Brown said. "The very tight supply picture from earlier in the year has also eased a little."
Oil and commodities also plunged across the board on Thursday as slower-than-expected growth in the U.S. services sector sparked a wave of selling and prices crashed through technical support levels.
Economists are also increasingly focused on weakening oil demand. American oil consumption has dropped 5.3 percent in the first quarter. World oil supplies are also growing.
Oil has crossed the $100 mark 21 times during the past year. It rose as high as $113.93 per barrel last April and fell as low as $75.67 per barrel on Oct. 4.
Prices are also falling as Western nations plan talks with Iran over its nuclear program, easing fears of a protracted standoff in the Middle East.
|Week Ago Avg.||$3.826||$3.966||$4.102||$4.100||$3.294||$4.335|
|Month Ago Avg.||$3.928||$4.063||$4.195||$4.164||$3.335||$4.389|
|Year Ago Avg.||$3.982||$4.122||$4.252||$4.166||$3.347||$4.405|
|Highest Recorded Average Price:|
Edited by Cy McCaffrey - 5/4/12 at 4:59pm