NEW YORK, Aug 14 (Reuters) - Crude oil prices fell more than $2 a barrel on both sides of the Atlantic on Thursday, sunk by weak economic data hinting at softening oil demand and by ample supplies.
The U.S. crude contract retreated more than 50 cents in a minute as shares of the exchange-traded U.S. Oil Fund saw high-volume trading.
U.S. crude fell about 60 cents to a then session low of $96.03 between 10:50 and 10:51 a.m. EDT (1450 GMT).
At 10:51 a.m., almost 1 million USO shares traded in just one minute, more than a third of the average 60-day daily volume.
"The market had never been below $96.55 for the whole month of August. That was the final straw," said Rich Ilczyszyn, chief market strategist and founder of iitrader.com LLC in Chicago.
"Once we broke that low, people that are long the market exit the strategy. New sellers come in and get the ball rolling to the downside."
The United States Oil Fund LP is an exchange-traded security that tracks the daily prices of West Texas Intermediate light sweet crude oil, the company's website says.
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