Oil prices fall on trade war concerns

Oil prices fall on trade war concerns

21 May 2019 11:55 AM

Oil prices dipped on Tuesday on concerns that a prolonged trade war between Washington and Beijing could lead to a global economic slowdown. But the losses were checked by escalating U.S.-Iran tensions and amid expectations that producer club OPEC will continue to withhold supply this year.

Brent crude futures, the international benchmark for oil prices, were at $72.25 per barrel, up 0.39% from their last close. U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures were up 0.39% at $63.41 per barrel.

 U.S. President Donald Trump on Monday threatened Iran with "great force" if it attacked U.S. interests in the Middle East. This came after a rocket attack in Iraq's capital Baghdad, which Washington suspects to have been organised by militia with ties to Iran.

Iran said on Tuesday that it would resist U.S. pressure, declining further talks under current circumstances. The tension comes amid an already tight market as the OPEC, Russia and other producers have been withholding supply since the start of the year to prop up prices.

Price gains were constrained by pressure on financial markets, which have this week been weighed down by worries that the United States and China are digging in for a long, costly trade war that could result in a broad global slowdown.

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