Oil Prices Decline Amid Escalating Trade Tensions
Oil prices tumbled on Friday as escalating trade tensions between China and the United States dented investor sentiment.
U.S. President Donald Trump threatened on Thursday to slap tariffs on 100 billion U.S. dollars of imports from China, ratcheting up trade tensions and plunging economic growth into uncertainty.
China will fight "at any cost" and take "comprehensive countermeasures" if the United States continues its unilateral, protectionist practices, a spokesperson with the Chinese Ministry of Commerce said last Friday.
The moves came after both sides earlier this week unveiled a list of products worth 50 billion U.S. dollars imported from the other side that will be subject to higher tariffs.
A rise in U.S. weekly rig count also weighed on the market. The number of rigs operating in U.S. oil fields added by 11 to a total of 808 rigs this week, oilfield service firm Baker Hughes said in its weekly report on last Friday.
The West Texas Intermediate for May delivery dropped 1.48 U.S. dollars to settle at 62.06 dollars a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange, while Brent crude for June delivery lost 1.22 dollars to close at 67.11 dollars a barrel on the London ICE Futures Exchange.