OPEC weekly oil price continues to fall

10:42, July 05, 2011      

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The weekly average prices of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) dropped for three consecutive weeks, falling by 1.37 U.S. dollars compared to the previous week to 105.07 U.S. dollars per barrel last week, the Vienna-based cartel said Monday.

OPEC daily oil price, which moved in a clear "V" trend last week, fell to 101.55 US dollars per barrel on the first trading day, representing the lowest level of OPEC daily oil price since February 21 this year.

However, it kept rising in the following three trading days, increasing to 107.50 U.S. dollars per barrel on June 30. But on Friday last week, it fell by 1 dollar to 106.5 US dollars per barrel.

The international crude oil market last week was affected by many factors. Although the availability of 60 million barrels of crude oil stocks announced by the International Energy Agency (IEA) suppressed oil prices at first, its influence quickly wore off.

Some analysts believe that the full effect of the IEA's decision has been seen on the market.

In addition, the euro zone manufacturing purchasing managers index (PMI), which reached a low level of 54.6 in May, fell further to 52 in June, marking a record low for 18 months.

According to a report from Markit, an economic survey organization, at present, the expansion of the manufacturing sector in Germany and France is slowing down; while in Italy, Greece, Spain and other countries, it continues to contract. The overall economy in the euro zone remains weak.

At the same time, Greece adopted a new round of austerity measures, which would clear the way for further monetary assistance. The concerns caused by short-term debt issues in Europe may therefore decrease, thereby increasing confidence in the oil market.

Figures from the Institute for Supply Management (ISM) showed that U.S. manufacturing PMI rose from 53.5 in May to 55.3 in June. The growth in the U.S. manufacturing sector means that the slowdown could be easing up.

Market analysts believe weakening concerns about European debt and strong economic figures from the U.S. will boost, to some extent, the international crude oil prices.

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