US crude settled below $80 a barrel on Friday after China cut interest rates and on speculation OPEC could agree to reduce oil production. U.S. crude’s front-month contract settled 66 cents higher, or 0.9 percent, at $76.51, after briefly turning lower earlier.
The front-month contract for benchmark Brent crude was up by nearly $1 at $80 a barrel, after having risen $2.28 earlier to a session high of $81.61.
China’s central bank cut its benchmark interest rates for the first time in more than two years to reduce borrowing costs and support an economy on track for its slowest annual growth in 24 years. China is the largest net importer of petroleum and metals, and the rate cut sent most commodity prices surging.