Investing.com

Investing.com - Crude oil futures tumbled to multi-week lows on Friday, as worries over potential supply disruptions in the Middle East continued to subside.



On the ICE Futures Exchange in London, Brent oil for August delivery slumped to a daily low of $106.27 a barrel on Friday, the weakest level since April 8, before settling at $106.66, down 1.85%, or $2.01.



The August Brent contract lost 3.59%, or $3.98 a barrel, on the week, the biggest weekly decline since early January.



Elsewhere, on the New York Mercantile Exchange, crude oil for delivery in August dropped to a session low of $100.44 a barrel, the weakest since May 13, before ending at $100.83 by close of trade, down 2.04%, or $2.10.



For the week, Nymex oil futures tumbled 2.83%, or $2.94 a barrel, the fourth consecutive weekly loss.



Meanwhile the spread between the Brent and the WTI crude contracts stood at $5.83 a barrel by close of trade on Friday, compared to $6.87 in the preceding week.



Investors continued to unwind positions that had priced in the possibility of major supply disruptions stemming from violence in Libya and Iraq.



Libya recently struck a deal with rebels occupying oil ports under terms that would have insurgents give up control over terminals that have been closed for a year. The deal should add 500,000 barrels per day of crude back into the global energy market.



Meanwhile, indications that Iraqi oil exports from the southern part of the country remained insulated from the sectarian violence that has swept the north in recent weeks also weighed.



Oil prices rallied to nine-month highs in June amid fears that an insurgency in northern Iraq would spread to the oil-rich south and disrupt the nation''s oil production.



In the week ahead, investors will be watching testimony on monetary policy by Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen, as well as key data on U.S. June retail sales.



Oil traders will also look ahead to a raft of Chinese economic data this week, including reports on second quarter gross domestic product, industrial production and retail sales.



The U.S. and China are the world’s two largest oil consuming nations.



Data from the Commodities Futures Trading Commission released Friday showed that hedge funds and money managers decreased their bullish bets in New York-traded oil futures in the week ending July 8.



Net longs totaled 304,366 contracts as of last week, down 7.8% from net longs of 330,148 in the preceding week.





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