OPEC crude hovers just below 110 dollars

Vienna - Organization of the Petroleum Exporting CountriesThe price for crudes produced by the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) continued its climb and was hovering just below the 110-dollar mark, OPEC said on Wednesday.

One barrel of crude oil from OPEC's reference basket stood at yet another record high of 109.92 dollars on Tuesday, up 99 cents from the previous day.

Hopes for OPEC to increase production in the near future were dashed as OPEC Secretary General Abdalla Salem el-Badri ruled out an extraordinary meeting until the next regular meeting, scheduled for September.

Several factors, among them unrest in OPEC member Nigeria, strike action in Scotland and France, the expected announcement of another drawdown on US gasoline stocks, strong Asian oil demand and the weak US dollar, were affecting the market OPEC analysts said.

Crude oil futures have surges about 24 per cent since the beginning of the year, analysts from Vienna-based JBC said.

After years of rising prices, there was still no clear indication on where prices would finally settle, they said.

OPEC calculates an average basket price based on 13 important brands produced by cartel members. The 13-member organization produces about 40 per cent of the world's crude. (dpa)

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