After nearing a record US$106 a barrel, oil prices have stabilized. Stability was achieved as investors reacted to a surprise drop in US crude supplies and a fresh drop in dollar values against the euro. OPEC's decision to maintain output and rising tensions on Venezuela's border have also supported prices.
Most analysts had expected the U.S. Energy Department's Energy Information Administration to report oil stocks rose last week for the eighth straight time. Instead, the stocks fell 3.1 million barrels. The EIA report and OPEC announcement have fuelled a turmoil of investing in oil futures, which have risen to new inflation-adjusted records this week as the falling dollar drew investors to the market.