Oil prices slipped nearly 2 percent on Tuesday, on track to fall to their lowest levels in over a month as renewed doubts over U.S.-China trade talks stoked concerns over global growth and demand even though U.S. sanctions on Iran and Venezuela tightened supply and helped stem losses.
Brent futures were down $1.36, or 1.9 percent, at $69.88 a barrel by 10:39 a.m. EDT (1439 GMT), while U.S. West Texas Intermediate crude was down $1.14, or 1.8 percent, at $61.11 per barrel.
If the futures close at their current levels, it would be the lowest settle for Brent since April 4 and WTI since March 29.
U.S. President Donald Trump on Sunday said he would raise tariffs on $200 billion worth of Chinese goods from 10-25 percent by Friday. The comments dragged on both Asian and U.S. stock markets.
“An escalation in the U.S.-China trade war has brought oil prices under renewed pressure,” said Abhishek Kumar, head of analytics at Interfax Energy in London.
“The spat has reinvigorated demand-side concerns, given that the conflict has been adversely impacting prospects for global economic growth.”
On the supply side, oil markets remain tense with the United States tightening sanctions on Iranian oil exports and plans to bulk up its forces in the world’s top oil-exporting region.