OPEC weekly average oil price keeps rising

08:34, March 09, 2010      

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The weekly average price of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) kept its upward trend last week, increasing to 76.29 U.S. dollars per barrel, the Vienna-based cartel said Monday.

It was also the second time of the OPEC weekly average oil price to reach above 76 U.S. dollars since the second week of January this year.

According to OPEC figures, in the five trading days last week, the OPEC oil prices had shown an upward trend with an obvious volatility, rising from 75.75 dollars per barrel to 77.27 dollars.

Last week, the debt crisis continued to spread in Europe. The dollar index also appeared its weak trend after a three-month rising.

In addition, most of the U.S. economic figures released last week were better than expected: the non-manufacturing index in February was 53.0, the highest level since December 2007; the unemployment rate of February was 9.7 percent, lower than the previous estimate of 9.8 percent.

These were important factors in driving both international oil prices and the OPEC oil price to the highest level over seven weeks on Friday.

In the past four weeks, the OPEC weekly average oil price kept rising, increasing from 70.55 dollars per barrel to 76.29 dollars.

Analysts predict a sustained increase in international crude oil prices given the improvement in oil consumption in the United States due to a continuous economic pickup, as well as the possible effect of speculative funds.

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