Oil struggles to retain gains amid trade row

Oil struggles to retain gains amid trade row

LONDON - Reuters
Oil struggles to retain gains amid trade row

Oil prices edged up yesterday, after having posted their biggest one-day fall in almost a year the previous day, although higher Russian output and Saudi Arabia possibly cutting its selling prices acted as a drag.

The mood across financial markets was cautious after China announced last week it would slap extra tariffs on 128 U.S. products, deepening a dispute between the world’s two biggest economies and stoking concerns about the impact on global growth.

Brent crude futures were up 23 cents on the day at $67.87 a barrel by 13:22 GMT, while West Texas Intermediate futures rose 28 cents to $63.29 a barrel.

The oil price fell by more than 3 percent on Monday, marking its largest one-day fall since June, following a sharp sell-off on Wall Street as the tech sector came under fire.

Last week, Brent rose to $71 a barrel, close to its highest so far this year, but failed to hold on to that level.

“Last week, we had a test of the year’s (price) high and oil failed to break that, so from a trading perspective ... with a possible trade war looming and negative sentiment building, and a possible rise in U.S. inventories later this week, this fits with a picture of profit-taking,” ABN Amro chief energy economist Hans van Cleef said.

U.S. crude inventories are expected to have risen for a second week in a row, according to a Reuters poll on April 2.