Oil prices declined on Monday due to concerns over the outlook for global economic growth and negotiations between Iran and major powers ending on a positive note, indicating an easing of tensions in the Middle East.
Brent crude futures shed $0.23, or 0.4%, at $63.23 a barrel, compared to a 1.6% increase last week. US West Texas Intermediate crude also declined by $0.09, or 0.2%, at $56.11 a barrel, compared to a gain of 1% last week, Reuters reported.
It said that while economic growth in the US was slower than expected in the second quarter compared to a boom in consumer spending, strengthening the outlook for oil consumption, growth outside the US was slowing at a faster pace due to the US-China trade war.
National Australia Bank senior economist Phin Ziebell said: “For global growth, the outlook there is looking shakier … it’s not disastrous but it’s not shooting the lights out.”
Referring to recent sluggish car sales globally, he said: “Where does oil demand fit in a world where it looks like this big boom is now starting to tail off.”
News that US and Chinese negotiators would meet this week after trade talks broke down in May 2019 also contributed to the decline in oil prices. However, expectations for progress during the two-day meeting in Shanghai are low, the report said.
Traders and investors are also awaiting the meetings of major central banks, including the US Federal Reserve, which is expected to reduce interest rates.
According to Iranian official Abbas Araqchi, an emergency meeting between the signatories of Iran’s 2015 nuclear deal failed to resolve several issues, and Tehran would continue to reduce its atomic commitments if Europeans partners fail to salvage the pact.
The US, which pulled out of the agreement in May 2018 and reimposed sanctions on Iranian oil exports, did not participate in the meeting.
Meanwhile, tensions prevailed in the critical oil passageway of the Strait of Hormuz, as Iran declined to release a British-flagged tanker it seized recently. However, Iran granted India consular access to 18 Indian crew members.
Elsewhere, Denmark welcomed the UK proposal for a European-led naval mission to protect vessels in the Strait of Hormuz. The US is said to be working on a multinational security initiative in the Gulf.