Crude oil prices were down to begin Friday as investors focus on talks between the U.S. and China in the hope that the world's two biggest economies will resolve their trade differences.
International benchmark Brent crude was trading at $60.94 per barrel at 0730 GMT with a 1.5 percent decline, after closing Thursday at $61.89 a barrel.
American benchmark West Texas Intermediate was at $53.81 a barrel, a 0.2 percent daily loss, after ending the previous session at $53.90 per barrel.
U.S. President Donald Trump said Thursday that China’s top trade negotiators are in the U.S. meeting with American representatives, while claiming the meetings are "going well with good intent and spirit on both sides."
"China does not want an increase in Tariffs and feels they will do much better if they make a deal. They are correct. I will be meeting with their top leaders and representatives today in the Oval Office," Trump wrote on social media.
The president said no final deal would be made until he meets with his Chinese counterpart President Xi Jinping. He said a top meeting would be held in the near future, during which the two leaders will discuss and try to agree on some of the long-standing and difficult points.
"Very comprehensive transaction... China’s representatives and I are trying to do a complete deal, leaving NOTHING unresolved on the table. All of the many problems are being discussed and will be hopefully resolved," Trump wrote on Twitter.
He also warned that the U.S. tariffs on China are set to increase to 25 percent on March 1, and added: "so all working hard to complete by that date!"
The two leaders agreed on Dec. 1 that their countries would not impose further reciprocal tariffs for a period of 90 days.
If the world's two biggest economies and oil consumers fail to reach a bilateral trade deal, this could bring down their economic growth, oil demand, and eventually push crude prices down, according to experts.
By Ovunc Kutlu