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August 31, 2018

Oil prices fall on fresh Trump threats to ramp up trade tariff war

Oil prices have declined as US President Donald Trump is reportedly preparing to intensify the ongoing trade tariff war with China.

Oil prices have declined as US President Donald Trump is reportedly preparing to intensify the ongoing trade tariff war with China.

However, losses were capped by impending US sanctions on Iran and declining production in the crisis-hit Venezuela.

International Brent crude oil LCOc1 slipped 30 cents to stand at $77.47 a barrel, while US light crude CLc1 fell 10 cents to reach $70.15, Reuters reported.

The news agency reported that Trump issued fresh threats of a trade tariff war in an interview with Bloomberg News to pull out of the World Trade Organization, continuing his dispute with major US trade partners.

If executed, the withdrawal is bound to impact the global trading system. Globally, economists are worried about the potential impact on growth and the resultant effect on energy demand.

AxiTrader chief market strategist Greg McKenna was quoted by Reuters as saying: “You have to wonder if it (crude) can sustain these prices in a world where President Trump doubles down on his battle with the EU and China at the same time.”

"Trump is planning to impose duties on $200bn worth additional Chinese imports as early as next week."

Trump is planning to impose duties on $200bn worth additional Chinese imports as early as next week, Bloomberg reported.

According to a Reuters analysis, the volume of unsold crude stored in the Atlantic basin dipped in recent weeks from around 30 cargoes to just a handful.

Brent is anticipated to post a monthly increase of more than 4%, while US light crude is on course for a 2% rise.

Swiss bank Julius Baer commodity analyst Norbert Ruecker said: “The November deadline to comply with the US demands for an Iran oil embargo is moving closer, and in anticipation, buyers seemingly have begun reducing their purchases.”

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