Global oil prices are on track for their best week of the year as investors remain uneasy about supply disruptions following attacks on Saudi Arabia’s oil facilities. Brent crude futures, the global benchmark, were virtually flat on Friday, putting them in line for a 7% gain this week—the largest one-week jump this year. West Texas Intermediate futures, the U.S. standard, were up 0.3% at $58.33 a barrel and poised for a 6.3% weekly advance, its biggest jump since June. The Sept. 14 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 initially expected. However, prices rebounded at the end of the week after The Wall Street Journal reported that the kingdom is looking to import crude and other petroleum products. 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 were down 0.8% Friday at $2.52 million British thermal units, extending declines after government figures Thursday showed inventories rose more than expected last week. —Dan Molinski contributed to this article.
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