Oil prices weakened after new import tariffs imposed by the United States and China came into force, raising concerns about a further hit to global economic growth and demand for crude.
International Brent crude futures settled down 59 cents to $58.66 a barrel, after trading as low as $58.10 during the day. US benchmark WTI crude was down 33 cents at $54.77 a barrel. Activity was thin because of the US Labor Day public holiday.
The United States began imposing 15 per cent tariffs on a variety of Chinese goods on Sunday - including footwear, smartwatches and flat-panel televisions - as China put new duties on US crude, the latest escalation in a bruising trade war.
Oil prices weaken as US, China add more tariffs in trade war.
US President Donald Trump said the two sides would still meet for talks this month. Trump, writing on Twitter, said his goal was to reduce US reliance on China, and he again urged American companies to find alternative suppliers outside China.
Even as President Trump has indicated that scheduled talks between the US and China are still to proceed, the market is more and more resigned to a protracted standoff between the two countries and will be looking towards central bank easing to shore up risk appetite, BNP Paribas’ Harry Tchilinguirian said.
Beijing’s levy of 5 per cent on US crude marks the first time the fuel had been targeted since the world’s two largest economies started their trade war more than a year ago.
Saudi Arabia on Monday named Yasir al-Rumayyan, the head of its sovereign wealth fund, as chairman of state-run oil giant Aramco, replacing Energy Minister Khalid al-Falih in the position.
Oil output in August from members of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries rose for the first month this year as higher supply from Iraq and Nigeria outweighed restraint by top exporter Saudi Arabia and declines caused by US sanctions on Iran.