A rash of troubling economic data kicked U.S. oil prices as low as $82.56 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange, its lowest level in nearly eight months.
John Kilduff, founder of Again Capital in New York, said the slide Friday was prompted by more news overnight about a slowing Chinese economy, and then accelerated once it was learned that the U.S. economy added just 69,000 new jobs in May.
"It's fueled several concerns that demand for oil is going to drop," he said.
Kilduff said oil prices might slip even lower in the coming days, depending on a number of potential scenarios.
"The market is waiting for any number of shoes to drop. Something like a Greek departure from the European Union or more bad news about the Spanish banking system could send oil down to $70 a barrel to $75 a barrel," he said.
Later in the trading day, the price of oil recovered from its low, but not by much. It was still down $3.28 a barrel to $83.25. In London, Brent North Sea oil dropped below $100 a barrel for the first time since October, off $3.05 to $98.82 a barrel.