Meanwhile, St. Louis Federal Reserve Bank President James Bullard said policymakers will have a "robust debate" about cutting USA interest rates by half a percentage point at their next policy meeting in September.
Crude oil futures shed 1.2% in the week. U.S. President Donald Trump responded later in the day saying starting on October 1, the 25-percent tariffs on $250 billion worth of Chinese goods will rise to 30%.
Prices "could be on track to head back lower towards the lows of both June and August near $50-$51/bbl" before balancing out and finding support, says futures broker Jace Jarboe with Daniels Trading in Chicago.
"Oil is set to trade quietly today as it's all about the Jackson Hole (meeting) tonight, " said Jeffrey Halley, a Singapore-based senior market analyst at brokerage OANDA.
Six ships carrying about 12 million barrels of US crude are headed to China just as Beijing prepares to impose its first ever levy on American oil next month.
"If Powell talks about lower for longer and reverses some of the hawkish comments that we heard from Fed members earlier this week, we could see it supporting oil, " said Michael McCarthy, chief market analyst at CMC Markets in Sydney.
On Friday's (August 23rd) market closure, the United Kingdom crude fell by 1 per cent to settle down at $59.34 a barrel, while US West Texas Intermediate crude futures tumbled 2.1 per cent to wrap up the day at $54.17 per barrel. -China trade tensions have increased near-term risks.
Trump also asked USA companies to end their China operations in response to Beijing's latest decision to raise tariffs. The contract was down 1.17 percent for the week.
West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures fell $1.18, or 2.1%, to settle at $54.17 a barrel. Its premium to WTI for the same month traded at US$5.17 a barrel. This mirrors the timetable the USA has laid out for 10% tariffs on almost $300 billion of Chinese shipments.
China, one of the world's biggest crude importers, has sharply lowered USA shipments from a record high hit past year.
US energy firms this week cut the most oil rigs in about four months, with the rig count falling to the lowest since January 2018, as producers cut spending on new drilling and completions.