The weekly average oil prices of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) fell last week to 102.10 U.S. dollars a barrel, the Vienna-based cartel said on Monday.
In the first three days of trading last week, oil prices continued their downward trend but with smaller daily declines, falling from 102.37 dollars per barrel to 101.20 dollars. Prices rebounded, increasing by 2.09 dollars on Thursday. However, it was followed by a downward trend due to weak demand.
The drop in prices were attributed to the U.S. credit rating being downgraded by Standard & Poor's, causing ripples in global stock markets.
However, the U.S. Federal Bank's decision to keep interest rates frozen for two years is expected to ease investor concerns and support commodity prices. The U.S. Department of Commerce also reported higher-than-expected retail sales, suggesting a recovery in consumer spending.
A decline in the U.S. oil inventory, an increase in demand, as well as the rise in refinery input may encourage the international crude oil market to some extent.
Recently, OPEC and the International Energy Agency (IEA) reduced its forecast for global oil demand this year.