Concerns about a sluggish Chinese economy helped send benchmark crude futures temporarily below 80 dollars per barrel for the first time in two-and-a-half months.
WTI oil futures fell to the 77-dollar per barrel level at one point on Tuesday in New York. The last time WTI futures dropped below the 80-dollar mark was in late August.
China's trade data released on Tuesday showed its exports falling for the sixth month in a row in October. The figures heightened worries that a slowing Chinese economy could hurt crude oil demand.
Market participants say that although the conflict in the Middle East is continuing, concerns about its impact on oil producers have eased somewhat.