Oil prices settle at $77 a barrel
WASHINGTON - The price of oil briefly surpassed $78 a barrel Friday and finished 4 percent higher for the week after Israeli attacks against militants in Lebanon stoked fears of a wider Middle East conflict and possible oil-supply disruption.
The run-up in oil raised concerns about inflation and the economy at large, sending stock prices tumbling.
OPEC tried to reassure the market by stressing its commitment to "order and stability," but at the same time said it "has no influence" over the geopolitical turmoil underlying today's volatility.
Because oil accounts for more than 50 percent of the cost of gasoline, U.S. pump prices, now averaging $2.96 a gallon nationwide, are likely to climb some more, analysts said.