Oil was steady after the biggest weekly loss since July as investors weighed rising tension in the Middle East against the prospect for an escalating trade dispute between the U.S. and China.
Futures were little changed in New York after falling 3.8% last week. Yemen’s Houthi rebels, which claimed responsibility for attacks on Saudi Arabia’s energy facilities two weeks ago, said they had captured soldiers from the kingdom during an operation near the border of the countries. Beijing said it would continue to open up its financial markets amid reports that the U.S. is considering restrictions on fund flows to China.
While oil has given up most of its gains since the attack on Saudi Arabia as the kingdom restores lost output quicker-than-expected, crude is still set for a monthly advance. The world’s two largest economies are heading into another round of high-level trade talks following China’s week-long national holidays starting Oct. 1. Their prolonged dispute has already almost halved oil consumption growth, Citigroup Inc. said earlier this month.
West Texas Intermediate for November delivery added 16 cents, or 0.3%, to $56.07 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange as of 9:52 a.m. Singapore time after gaining as much as 66 cents earlier. The contract fell 50 cents to $55.91 on Friday. Prices are up 1.8% this month.
Brent for November settlement, which expires Monday, fell 3 cents to $61.88 a barrel on the ICE Futures Europe Exchange. The more-active December contract gained 14 cents to $61.18. The global benchmark crude traded at a $5.88 premium to WTI.