Oil prices fell sharply on Wednesday amid growing concerns that a prolonged U.S.-China trade war would start to drag on global economic demand.
Front-month benchmark Brent crude plunged almost 2 percent to $67.31 a barrel while U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures were down 2.2 percent at $57.84 per barrel.
Trade worries deepened after Chinese newspapers warned Beijing was ready to use its dominance of rare earths as a counter in its trade battle with Washington.
The U.S. imports about 80 percent of its rare earth elements, used in a host of electronic components, from China.
In another development, Huawei Technologies Co Ltd has filed a motion for summary judgment in its lawsuit against the U.S. government.
“The U.S. government has provided no evidence to show that Huawei is a security threat. There is no gun, no smoke. Only speculation,” the company’s chief legal officer Song Liuping said in a statement.
Aside from rising trade conflicts between the world’s two largest economies, concerns over high budget deficit in Italy and political disarray in Europe also dampened the demand outlook.
Weekly data on U.S. petroleum supplies are delayed this week due to Monday’s Memorial Day holiday.
The American Petroleum Institute releases its report later today, while the Energy Information Administration’s report is due on Thursday.
The material has been provided by InstaForex Company – www.instaforex.com