Reuters: Oil prices march to biggest weekly gain in months as MidEast tensions dominate
Oil prices were on track for a more-than-7% jump this week, their biggest in months, as early trading on Friday saw gains extended on fresh tensions in the Middle East after a key Saudi Arabian supply hub was knocked out in an attack last weekend.
Friday's rises came after a Saudi-led coalition launched a military operation north of Yemen's port city of Hodeidah, as the United States worked with Middle East and European nations to build a coalition to deter Iranian threats after the Saudi attack, Reuters said.
Brent crude LCOc1 is on track to rise about 7.7% this week, the biggest weekly gain since January. The front-month November contract was at $64.96 a barrel, up 56 cents, by 0212 GMT.
U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures CLc1 were up 66 cents to $58.79 a barrel, set to post a 7.1% gain for the week, the largest weekly rise since June.
Saudi Arabia's production dropped by almost half after an attack on Saturday crippled a major oil processing facility. Its oil minister has pledged to restore lost production by the end of this month, and bring capacity back to 12 million barrels per day by the end of November.
The United States and Saudi Arabia blames Iran for the assault on Saudi oil facilities. Tehran denies any involvement.
In the United States, meanwhile, torrential rain from Tropical Storm Imelda has forced a major refinery to cut production and shut a key oil pipeline, terminals and a ship channel in Texas.
Global markets are also keeping an eye on U.S.-China trade negotiations in Washington, as officials from both sides resumed face-to-face talks for the first time in nearly two months on Thursday.