Crude futures pare some losses after retreating to near 2-month lows

Crude futures pared some losses after crashing to near two-month lows on Friday, as U.S. rig counts rose for a fourth consecutive week, dampening some optimism that the longstanding supply glut on global energy markets could be on the verge of leveling off.

On the New York Mercantile Exchange, WTI crude for September delivery traded between $43.74 and $44.95 a barrel before closing at $44.23, down 0.52 or 1.16% on the session. On the Intercontinental Exchange (ICE), brent crude for September delivery wavered between $45.17 and $46.50 a barrel, before settling at $45.73, down 0.46 or 1.00% on the day. Both WTI and Brent futures fell by approximately 3% on the week.

Crude futures rallied somewhat in the final hour of Friday's session after reports surfaced of a mass shooting at a shopping mall in Munich. The shooting comes roughly a week after a terrorist deliberately drove a truck into a Bastille Day crowd in Nice, killing 84 people and injuring at least 300 others. Oil prices typically move higher in periods of heightened geopolitical instability.

Meanwhile, the spread between the international and U.S. benchmarks of crude stood at $1.50, up slightly from Thursday's level of $1.45 at the close of trading.

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