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Crude Oil Futures Settle Sharply Higher On Positive Trade News

Crude oil prices rose sharply on Friday on supply concerns after an Iranian oil tanker exploded in the Red Sea after being hit by missiles launched from the Saudi Arabian port of Jeddah.

Positive progress in U.S.-China trade negotiations too contributed to oil's sharp uptick.

West Texas Intermediate crude oil futures for November ended up $1.15, or about 2.2%, at $54.70 a barrel, the highest settlement in about two weeks.

On Thursday, West Texas Intermediate crude oil futures for November ended up $0.96, or 1.8%, at $53.55 a barrel.

For the week, crude oil futures gained about 3.6%.

The attack on Iranian oil tanker has raised concerns about possible supply disruptions from a crucial crude producing region.

According to Iranian news agencies, the ship owned by Iran's state-owned National Iranian Oil Co. suffered heavy damage and was leaking oil ino the water.

Oil prices also remained supported after OPEC said that it has all options in place to balance oil markets and that it would take a decision in December regarding supply.

Meanwhile, a report from Baker Hughes said the oil rigs count in the U.S. increased by 2 in the week ended October 11, the first increase in eight weeks. With this, the total rig count has increased to 712.

In trade news, the U.S. and China reached a tentative, partial agreement on Friday that may lead to a truce in the trade war, according to a Bloomberg News report, citing people familiar with the matter.

Under the pact, China would agree to some agricultural concessions, while the U.S. would provide some tariff relief, the report said.

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