The price of crude oil stabilised above $70 a barrel in the US, the world’s biggest consumer, on 10 December after six consecutive days of falling prices.

The US’ benchmark January West Texas Intermediate (WTI) contract traded at $70.80 a barrel on 10 December, down $7 from a week before but up from an eight-week low in earlier trading.

In Europe, the January Brent contract was trading at $72.70 a barrel, down $6 a barrel from a week before.

The average price for the international oil cartel Opec’s 12 member states’ crudes was $73.70 a barrel on 9 December, the last date prices were available. This is down $4.40 from a week before.

Prices dropped over fears that a global economic recovery would not be as fast as expected in 2010 and also a stronger US dollar.

The stabilisation followed the US’ Energy Information Administration announcement that stocks of crude oil in the country fell by 3.8 million barrels to 336.1 million barrels in the week ended 4 December.

A weaker US dollar also helped increase the oil price. One US dollar was worth €0.67 on 10 December.