Oil fell toward $73 a barrel in New York after the United States President, Donald Trump escalated a trade war with China, heightening fears that global economic growth could be caught in the cross-fire.
Futures dropped 1.2 percent, slipping in tandem with equities and metals, after the Trump administration unveiled a list of $200 billion in Chinese goods that could face 10 percent tarriffs once public consultations end in August.
Losses were deeper for Brent crude, the European benchmark, as Libya’s national oil company lifted supply restrictions after it regained control of key ports from a splinter faction.
Mr Harry Tchilinguirian is the Head of Commodities Strategy at BNP Paribas SA in London.
“We have the dynamic for a pull back. This is reinforced today by the lifting of the force majeure at Libyan ports and the uncertainty around the economic outlook that an escalation in trade measures implies,” he said.
Oil rose to a three-year high this month as disruptions from Canada to Venezuela, along with renewed U.S. sanctions on Iran, heightened fears of a supply crunch despite a pledge by the Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries- OPEC and its allies to boost production.