Crude oil hit the lower circuit and tumbled 4.6 per cent in futures trading on Thursday, taking cues from weak global markets where crude prices fell on reports of higher-then-expected supply amid sluggish demand.
On the Multi Commodity Exchange (MCX), the far-month April contract suffered the most, with a fall of 4.60 per at Rs 2,594 per barrel, clocking business volume of four lots.
Current-month (January) contract also fell 3.41 per cent to trade at Rs 2,098 per barrel, with the business volume of 6,548 lots.
Similarly, February-month contract slipped 2.65 per cent to Rs 2,466 per barrel, recording trading volume of 1,297 lots, while March contract dropped 2.65 per cent to Rs 2,466 per barrel, with business volume showing 57 lots.
Market experts said reports that inventories of crude oil rose sharply by 6.68 million barrels to 325.4 million barrels during the week in the US due to subdued demand, mainly, put pressure on the crude in the futures market here.
Meanwhile, crude oil for February delivery fell 2.92 dollar, or 6 per cent, to 45.66 dollar a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange.