NEW YORK, Oct. 22 (Xinhua) -- U.S. crude prices fell and broke the important level of 90 dollars a barrel on Monday as concerns about global economic slowdown offset fears of unrest in the Middle East.
The crude prices were pressured heavily after data showed that Japanese exports tumbled and industry giant Caterpillar Inc. warned of a faster-than-expected global economic slowdown on Monday.
Meanwhile, there were still worries about debt problems in Europe and economic slowdown in China. The ongoing deficit cutting debate in Washington also weighed on market sentiment.
Besides, the North Sea Buzzard, Britain's largest oil field, was expected to restart on Oct. 25 or 26 after a maintenance shutdown, suggesting supplies increase. Pipeline company TansCanada said it will restart a pipeline connecting Canada and the U.S. on Monday.
In earlier trading, crude prices went higher on fears that the spill-over of turbulence in Syria to Lebanon could pose risks to oil supplies in the Middle East.
On Friday, Lebanon's intelligence chief Brig. Gen. Wissam al- Hassan was assassinated in a massive car bombing. He was a powerful opponent of Syria, which for decades has wielded political and military influence in Lebanon.
Light, sweet crude for November delivery fell 1.32 dollars, or 1.47 percent, to settle at 88.73 dollars a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange. Brent crude for December delivery dropped 70 cents, or 0.64 percent, to close at 109.44 dollars a barrel.