(HOUSTON CHRONICLE) — NEW YORK (AP) — The price of oil dropped Monday to its lowest level of the year after elections in Europe created uncertainty over the region's plan for recovery.
In afternoon trading, benchmark U.S. crude lost $1.10 to $97.39 per barrel in New York. It fell as low as $95.34 per barrel earlier in the day, 10 cents below the previous low set on Feb. 2.
Oil prices declined after voters in France and Greece rejected incumbent leaders who supported austerity measures to fix the region's struggling economy. French voters elected a new president, socialist Francois Hollande, who promised to boost spending. Greek voters ousted numerous pro-austerity candidates and left their parliament without a controlling party.
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Analysts warned that the election results could derail the eurozone's plan for recovery. That could further disrupt an economy that consumes 18 percent of the world's oil.