Crude oil prices drifted lower on Monday amid concerns about the outlook for energy demand due to slowing global economy and uncertainty about U.S.-China trade negotiations.
After some positive news about the world’s two largest economies closing in on an interim trade deal earlier last week, there was a setback of sorts on Friday after U.S. President Donald Trump told reporters that he has not agreed to lift the tariffs on China.
Trump’s comments came after a report from Reuters said the idea of rolling back tariffs was facing fierce internal opposition from the president’s advisers.
It was also reported that the idea of a tariff rollback was not part of the original October “handshake” deal between Trump and Chinese Vice Premier Liu He.
Trump said on Saturday that trade talks with China were moving along “very nicely” but the United States would only make a deal with Beijing if it was the right one for America.
A larger than expected increase in U.S. crude stockpiles weighed as well on oil prices.
Data released by the Energy Information Administration last Wednesday said crude oil stockpiles increased by 7.9 million barrels in the week ended November 1, more than five times the expected increase.
West Texas Intermediate Crude oil futures for December ended down $0.38, or 0.7%, at $56.86 a barrel.
Brent crude oil futures ended down $0.29 at $62.22 a barrel.
On Friday, WTI Crude oil futures for December ended up $0.09 at $57.24 a barrel.
The commodity’s was also due to weak inflation data from China. The consumer price index of the world’s second largest economy grew at its fastest pace in about eight years, while a measure of producer prices fell the most in more than three years in October.