The Saudis and U.S. also move to counter further Iranian interference: File Image/PixaBay
Given the tremendous one-day 20 percent price boost achieved by crude earlier this week, another modest dip in prices on Friday still meant the commodity would post weekly gains, with Brent rising 6.7 percent, its biggest gain since January, and West Texas Intermediate climbing 5.9 percent, the most since June.
Friday's session was negatively affected after Chinese agriculture officials that were due to visit U.S. farm states next week canceled their trip to Montana and Nebraska to return to China sooner than originally scheduled - a move that coincided with U.S. president Donald Trump stating he wanted a complete trade deal with the Asian nation, not just an agreement for China to buy more U.S. agricultural goods.
Brent fell 12 cents to settle at $64.28 per barrel, while WTI ended 4 cents lower at $58.09 per barrel.
Phil Flynn, senior market analyst, Price Futures Group Inc.
The question is can they convince the market that they can keep their oil fields safe
Meanwhile, Saudi Arabia on Friday launched a military operation north of Yemen's port city of Hodeidah while the U.S. worked with Middle East and European nations to build a coalition to deter Iranian threats, in the wake of the bombings of the Saudi production facilities (said to be caused by Iran) that led to Monday's 20 percent crude price spike.
Aramco also said it was shipping equipment from the U.S. and Europe to rebuild the damaged facilities, and that Abqaiq is expected to have full capacity restored by the end of the month.
This prompted Phil Flynn, senior market analyst at Price Futures Group Inc., to state in a note, "The question is can they convince the market that they can keep their oil fields safe."
For the record, officials conducting a tour of the ruined Khurais site told media that 30 percent of the facility was back up and running within 24 hours and full production will be reached before the end of September - this despite it being bombed at four separate locations.