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Crude Prices Inch Lower, but Post Weekly Gains

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09/20/2019 | 05:13pm EDT

By Sarah Toy

Brent crude futures, the global benchmark, fell slightly on Friday, but still notched their best week since January as investors remained uneasy about supply disruptions following attacks on Saudi Arabia's oil facilities.

The global price gauge pared gains from earlier in the day, falling 0.2% to close at $64.28 -- up 6.7%, its biggest one-week percentage jump since the week ending Jan. 4.

West Texas Intermediate futures, the U.S. standard, fell less than 0.1% to close at $58.09 a barrel, posting a 5.9% weekly gain.

The gains followed the Sept. 14 drone attacks took out more than half of Saudi Arabia's crude output. Officials at Saudi Arabian Oil Co., or Aramco, have said oil operations should be running at full production before the end of the month.

A sustained rise in fuel prices marks the latest threat to a global economy already pressured by the U.S.-China trade war. It could also impact stocks in the U.S., where steady consumer spending has helped lift major indexes. Higher energy prices can raise gas and heating bills, cutting into available income.

Oil futures soared Monday, but prices slipped Tuesday and Wednesday after Saudi officials signaled that output could return to normal more quickly that expected. However, prices rebounded Thursday after The Wall Street Journal reported the kingdom is looking to import crude and other oil products, before edging down Friday.

Still, crude prices are well below their April peaks as investors continue to worry about slowing demand. "Many market participants are still concerned that global supply will remain ample as Saudi Arabia works its way through repairing the damage," said Dominick Chirichella, director of market insights at DTN.

Elsewhere in commodities, natural-gas futures fell 0.2% Friday to $2.53 per million British thermal units, extending declines after government figures Thursday showed inventories rose more than expected last week.

Front-month gold futures rose 0.6% to $1507.30 a troy ounce, recouping some declines from earlier in the week after the Federal Reserve cut interest rates but signaled that officials were divided on how much to further reduce rates in coming months. Gold struggles to compete with yield-bearing assets when borrowing costs rise, and lower interest rates tend to make it more attractive to investors.

Dan Molinski contributed to this article.

Stocks mentioned in the article
ChangeLast1st jan.
GOLD -0.36% 1486.085 Delayed Quote.16.52%
WTI 1.65% 54.33 Delayed Quote.14.98%
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