Published: Sun, April 08, 2018
Money | By Michele Stevens

Oil tumbles after China slaps tariffs on United States goods

Oil tumbles after China slaps tariffs on United States goods

In New York, US light prices were down by $0.47 at $63.04 per barrel in mid-day trading.

Futures in NY slipped as much as 2.1 percent to the lowest intraday price since March 20.

Oil prices headed higher on Thursday after reports out of the United States showed a drawdown in US crude stockpiles that analysts did not expect.

Oil prices saw a wide variation over the past week, regaining some losses on Wednesday after the United States released data showing a surprise fall in crude inventories.

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The threat of a trade with with China has impacted the U.S. economic outlook, and generated demand worries in the oil patch.

West Texas Intermediate for May delivery was at $62.38 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange, down $1.13, at 11 a.m.in London, after rising 50 cents on Tuesday.

As U.S. production levels sore, the country is exporting more of its own oil and importing less from foreign sources. Analysts surveyed by The Wall Street Journal expect on average that crude stocks increased by 1 million barrels in the week ended March 30.

Oil also got support from firm global equities, as the United States expressed willingness to negotiate a resolution on trade after proposed US tariffs on $50 billion in Chinese goods prompted a quick response from Beijing that it would retaliate by targeting key American imports.

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After the Easter break, oil prices started the week on a weaker note as geopolitical development exacerbated operational concerns.

The extent to which USA production increases counterbalances output cuts from the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries will be critical, said Gene McGillian, manager of market research at Tradition Energy in Stamford.

OPEC and non-OPEC producers are still committed to cut output by 1.8M barrels per day this year.

Though this was largely thanks to the inexorable slide in Venezuela's oil production, figures are figures and the market is prone to take them at face value.

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Before the rebound late on Wednesday, after the release of the Energy Information Administration (EIA) inventory data, WTI and Brent had hit two-week lows after China proposed a broad range of tariffs on US exports, feeding fears of a trade war.

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