Oil steadied as investors weighed the risk of further escalation in the conflict between the U.S. and Iran that has so far spared production and exports from the Middle East.
The threats of retaliation coming out of the US and Iran over the last 24 hours were enough to spook markets into taking a knock by closing time on Monday.
London's blue chip index edged up on Friday as traders remained cautious amid simmering tensions between Russia and the US over Syria.
A final report on a major investigation into the UK’s energy sector by the competition watchdog is set to be published.
The London market ended a bruising week edging higher despite warnings over global economic uncertainty from Holiday Inn owner InterContinental Hotels Group (IHG) and disappointing US jobs data.
Emerging-market stocks headed for their first decline in five days as energy producers dropped with oil and concern grew over the outlook for the global economy. The Malaysian ringgit paced losses for developing-nation currencies. The MSCI Emerging Markets Index decreased the most in a week, with nearly two shares falling for each one that gained. PetroChina Co. and Cnooc Ltd., China’s largest listed oil producers, slid for a second day in Hong Kong.
Shares in Australian oil and gas giant Santos went on a trading halt on Wednesday amid speculation its retail investors bought only about a third of the A$1.35 billion ($987 million) of shares offered by the oil and gas producer in a move to pay down debt.
While nobody can predict how deeply investors will react to attacks that killed scores of people in Paris Friday, the history of terror incidents around the world over the last 15 years shows market reactions are often sharp and, increasingly, short-lived.
The boss of US oil field services giant National Oilwell Varco said the company would continue to focus on cost reduction as second quarter earnings dipped.
Greece’s debt talks and ongoing Chinese market unrest led the price of oil to slip by almost 6% yesterday, although Brent Crude steadied at $56.98 a barrel today.