16 September 2009
Oil prices posted a "significant" increase last month amid growing economic optimism, according to the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (Opec).
The group's monthly oil report for August said a combination of improving sentiment on economic recovery and healthy oil supplies in the US meant prices surged 10 per cent to an average of $71.35 (£43) a barrel compared with the month before. Today's Opec crude oil basket price is $66.95 (£41).
Opec said market sentiment was boosted by "bullish" manufacturing activity in the US and the European banking sector, as well as strong economic indicators in China.
But following a meeting last week, Opec warned that the global economy was still fragile and there was "great concern" about the pace of the recovery.
According to yesterday's report, Opec expects world oil demand to contract by 1.6 million barrels a day to 84.1 million barrels a day this year, before rising 500,000 barrels a day in 2010.