WASHINGTON (dpa-AFX) - Crude oil futures settled higher on Friday as recession fears faded a a bit amid hopes global central banks will announce further stimulus to revive economic growth.
West Texas Intermediate Crude oil futures for September ended up $0.40, or about 0.7%, at $54.87 a barrel.
On Thursday, WTI crude oil futures for September had tumbled by about 2.1%.
Crude oil futures gained 0.7% in the week, after going down in the previous two weeks.
Worries about energy demand outlook waned a bit thanks to strong U.S. retail sales data (sales rose as much as 0.7% in July, the highest in four months) and dovish comments from ECB's Rehn that signaled a significant easing package in September to support the euro zone economy.
Also, China's state planner said it would roll out a plan to boost disposable income this year and in 2020.
Crude oil's uptick was also due to lingering uncertainties about supply position amid the tensions in the Middle East.
The OPEC, in its monthly report, has cut its forecast for oil demand growth in 2019 by 40,000 barrels, citing economic slowdown.
Meanwhile, a report from Baker Hughes showed U.S. energy firms increased the number of oil rigs by six this week, bringing the total count to 770. This is the first increase in seven weeks and the highest since April.
Copyright RTT News/dpa-AFX