Oil prices sank Monday, with the US crude benchmark finishing below $40 a barrel for the first time in six years on worries about China’s weakening economy after an equities sell-off.

US benchmark West Texas Intermediate (WTI) for October delivery dropped $2.21 to $38.24 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange, its first below-$40 close since February 2009.

Brent North Sea crude for October, the international benchmark, plummeted $2.80 to $42.69 a barrel in London, its lowest level since March 2009.

“The petroleum markets are extending last week’s decline along with global equity markets on Monday as worries over slowing Chinese economic growth intensified,” said Tim Evans, energy markets strategist at Ciri Futures.

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