Investing.com - WTI crude oil prices settled marginally lower Friday, as signs of tightening U.S. output were offset by a stronger dollar and fears rising U.S.-China trade tensions could hamper oil demand.
On the New York Mercantile Exchange, crude futures for October delivery fell 2 cents to settle at $67.75 a barrel, while on London's Intercontinental Exchange, Brent rose 0.38% to trade at $76.80 a barrel.
Oilfield services firm Baker Hughes reported on Friday that the number of U.S. oil drilling rigs in operation fell by 2 to 860.
The fall in rig counts, pointing to signs of contracting crude output, echoed data from a day earlier showing U.S. output remained unchanged from the prior week at 11.0 million barrels a day.
Crude oil prices were pressured by a rising dollar on the back of upbeat U.S. labor market data, and signs that President Donald Trump remains committed to impose fresh tariffs on imported Chinese goods.
“I hate to say this, but behind that there is another $267 billion ready to go on short notice if I want,” Trump said, referring to levies on additional goods imported from China.
China, the world's largest commodity importer, has seen econonomic performance hit in the wake of the trade war with the U.S. and a further escalation could dent growth, forcing Beijing to rein in crude imports.
Beyond trade, analysts continued to highlight supply risks, owing to production outages within OPEC that could support oil prices.
SEB Markets said OPEC's spare capacity is "running thin," at just about 1 million barrels a day, as "supply is disturbed within the group," following ongoing production outages in Venezuela and already declining Iranian crude exports a result of U.S. economic sanctions.
The subdued end to the week follows a slump earlier, when bets on a potential disruption to U.S. output failed to materialize as Tropical Storm Gordon did not make landfall in the oil-rich U.S. gulf region, as many had expected.
A mixed petroleum report showing crude stockpiles fell, but product inventories rose sharply also weighed on sentiment amid worries that falling crude stockpiles may be nearing an end as the summer driving season, which tends drive up crude demand, is in the rearview mirror.
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