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Oil Caps Worst Week Since July as Trump Revs Up China Trade Feud


By Sheela Tobben

(Bloomberg) Oil in New York capped its worst week since July as U.S. President Donald Trump’s administration escalated trade tensions with China in a protracted dispute that’s imperiled world energy demand.Futures fell almost 1% Friday after seesawing earlier. In the latest salvo in the trade war between the world’s biggest economies, U.S. government officials are considering caps on American money flows into China, a measure with major implications for billions of dollars in investments, according to people familiar with the deliberations.

Earlier in the session, crude bounced off a low not seen since before the Sept. 14 attacks on Saudi Arabian oil installations. Trump said in a tweet on Friday that he rebuffed Iran’s request for sanctions relief in exchange for negotiations.

“That would mean little hope of Iranian oil returning to the market any time soon,” said Phil Flynn, senior market analyst at Price Futures Group Inc., said by telephone.

Futures decline after Trump ratchets up trade dispute with China

Prices ended the week 3.8% lower, weighed down by Saudi Arabia’s quick recovery of oil output following aerial attacks that rocked global energy markets. The kingdom’s production had reached 9.8 million barrels a day, which is about the same level as before the attacks, Dow Jones reported, citing unnamed officials.

West Texas Intermediate for November delivery settled 50 cents lower at $55.91 a barrel at the New York Mercantile Exchange.

Brent for the same month dropped 83 cents to settle at $61.91 on the ICE Futures Europe Exchange and traded at a $6 premium to WTI. The contract ended the week 3.7% lower.

The Saudis agreed to a limited cease-fire in parts of Yemen and diplomatic efforts were underway to expand the truce, according to a Yemeni government official and a diplomat. Houthi rebels embroiled in the war in Yemen said they launched the attacks on Saudi infrastructure, although the U.S. and other powers have blamed Iran.

Other oil-market news
  • Gasoline futures fell 0.6% to $1.6514 a gallon.
  • The U.K.-flagged tanker Stena Impero left the Iranian port of Bandar Abbas on Friday, more than two months after it was seized by the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps.
  • Nations including the U.S. are showing interest in shipping jet fuel cargoes to Europe to offset supplies lost by the attacks on Saudi Arabia. Interest in exports from the U.S. is also pushing up prices in cash markets in the Gulf Coast refining hub.


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