OPEC weekly oil price jumps above 90 U.S. dollars

08:21, January 11, 2011      

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The weekly average price of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) continued to increase and exceeded 90 U.S. dollars last week, reaching 90.96 dollars per barrel, the Vienna-based cartel said Monday.

OPEC weekly average prices have kept rising for six consecutive weeks, jumping by nearly 12 percent compared with the first week of December 2010. It was also the first time that OPEC weekly average prices have outrun 90 U.S. dollars since the first week of October 2008.

During the last five trading days, OPEC oil prices fluctuated at a high level between 90-92 dollars a barrel, but it also showed an insufficient capacity of a lasting rise.

As world's largest oil consumer, the United States has an important impact on international crude oil prices. Though U.S. unemployment rate in December 2010 reached the lowest level since May 2009, it did not significantly improve investors' prospect on U.S. economy and thus pushed up prices of crude oil futures.

Meanwhile, eurozone economy also remains slow in its economic recovery.

The latest figures from the European Union statistical bureau Eurostat showed that in November 2010, euro zone's average unemployment rate reached the highest level since July 1998, while its gross domestic product (GDP) growth rate during the third quarter was also slightly lower than expected.

Analysts believed that the unsatisfactory economic figures in Europe and America, together with a higher U.S. dollar exchange rate, would continue to suppress oil prices.

On the supply side, as OPEC decided in December 2010 to continue to comply with its production limits target set at the end of 2008, a further rise in oil prices would be more difficult due to an adequate oil supply, and thus might show an adjustment with fluctuations in the future.

Source: Xinhua
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