Crude oil prices fell sharply in the last hour of trading on Friday, leaving the market with a 38-cent loss for the day and 44-cent loss for the week.
Light sweet crude oil for October delivery settled at $17.14 per barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange. The market spent much of the day hovering around the $17.50 mark.Prices held around unchanged in thin volume with no news to give traders a reason to mount a significant market move.
Once the price crossed $17.25, automatic sell orders were triggered, fueling the rest of the drop. The day's crude-trading volume nearly doubled in the final hour.
Unleaded gasoline prices recovered slightly from six consecutive losing sessions. Gasoline rose 0.59 cent to settle at 50.17 cents per gallon.