The price of oil fell below $100 a barrel for the first time in three weeks Wednesday as reports showed U.S. economic growth stalled in the first quarter and oil supplies in the U.S. rose to record levels last week.
Meanwhile, AAA said U.S. gasoline prices are near their springtime peak and drivers should be paying less at the pump by Memorial Day.
Benchmark U.S. crude oil for June delivery dropped $1.54, or 1.5 percent, to close at $99.74 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange. Brent crude, an international oil benchmark, fell 91 cents to $108.07 on the ICE Futures exchange in London.
The U.S. Commerce Department said economic growth slowed to 0.1 percent in the first three months of the year as winter storms chilled business activity. The sharp slowdown, while worse than expected, is likely to be temporary as growth rebounds with warmer temperatures.
The Energy Department said oil supplies rose by 1.7 million barrels last week. While the increase was less than expected by analysts, it still pushed the nation's supply to a record 399.4 million barrels. In addition, gasoline supplies rose by 1.6 million barrels, whereas analysts had expected a decline.