Crude oil continued to tumble during last week's trading session. A barrel of crude oil was trading at around $75.70 at the beginning of the week, and eventually dropped to around $73.85 a barrel by Friday.

The main reason for crude oil's decline seems to be the negative data from the U.S, the biggest oil consuming nation. The weekly Unemployment Claims rose by 12,000 to 500,000 in the past week, the highest figure since November 2009. In addition, the Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia said that its general economic index slipped to -7.7 on August, also signaling a possible contraction of the U.S. economy. It seems that as long as the U.S. economy continues to provide negative data, demand for gasoline in the U.S. is likely to decrease, and as a result crude oil prices will continue to decline.

Looking ahead to this week, traders are advised to continue following the major economic updates from the U.S. and the euro-zone, as these seem to have the largest impact on oil prices. Most significantly, traders should follow the U.S. Crude Oil Inventories report, scheduled for Wednesday, as this publication tends to have an instant affect on crude oil prices.