Crude oil prices plunged to $115 a barrel Friday in trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange.
Photo courtesy BP
Photo courtesy BP

According to the Associated Press, an increase in the value of the U.S. dollar, signs of slowing global fuel demand, and a belief that commodities futures may have peaked, were at work.

Crude oil prices were hitting record highs near $150 a barrel as recently as early July. Futures have dropped more than 20 percent below the record $147.27 set on July 11.

Thirteen of 35 analysts surveyed by Bloomberg News, or 37 percent, predicted crude oil prices will continue to drop through Aug. 15.