Oil prices rose to $75 a barrel for the first time in 2009 on Wednesday 14 October, bouyed by a weak dollar and strong trade figures for China, the world’s second-largest oil consumer.

The dollar hit a 14-month low against the euro (of $1.4906) according to EBS.

Last year oil reached record highs. On 6 June it hit $139 a barrel as the dollar slumped and tensions mounted in the Middle East. On 7 June this lead to the average retail price for gasoline rising to $4 a gallon for the first time.

Oil prices remained high until 21 November, when the average price for gasoline fell to less than $2 and on 19 December, oil had lost 75% of its value since July.

In September Opec kept targets steady at a reduced level. The next meeting of the organisation is to reconsider oil prices in December.

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