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OPEC weekly prices further drop
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08:40, September 23, 2008

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· Surge in Oil Prices
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The weekly average prices of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) dropped to 89.17 U.S. dollars per barrel (dpb) last week, said the Vienna-based cartel Monday.

The prices of OPEC have dropped for three consecutive trading weeks since the first week of September.

However, after dropping to 86.27 dpb on September 16, OPEC daily prices have shown a rebound for three consecutive trading days to 91.72 dpb on September 19.

The international oil prices surged in the first half of this year, but showed a sharp return since July, which is unusual in the world's economy this year. Factors mentioned by experts as the market supply-demand relationship, fluctuation of U.S. exchange rate, development of geopolitical tensions and market speculation attributed to fluctuation of oil prices.

Besides strengthened dollars, lower demand expectation in the international crude oil market due to weakening world economy led by the U.S. is considered by analysts to be an important cause for the recent international oil price downturn.

Moreover, crude oil market speculation, one of the important factors driving prices high in the first half of the year, has obviously reduced, which has further pushed oil prices lower.

Many market analysts said that the age of low oil prices has definitely ended, but according to the relationship between the demand by recent international economic development and the supply of crude oil, if the international oil prices fluctuate between 80dpb to 100 dpb, it can basically reflect reasonable supply-demand relationship and the world's economic situations, otherwise there might be other controlling factors.

Therefore, influence of international speculation capital on future oil prices has received more and more concerns from experts.


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