Crude oil prices were down on Tuesday with the escalation in US-China relations and worries over the risks of a second wave of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19).
International benchmark Brent crude was trading at $42.80 per barrel at 0633 GMT for a 0.65% decline after closing Monday at $43.08 a barrel.
American benchmark West Texas Intermediate (WTI) was at $40.41 a barrel at the same time for a 0.12% loss after ending the previous day at $40.46 per barrel.
The White House trade advisor Peter Navarro said Monday that the Phase I trade deal between the US and China was 'over,' in an interview with American network Fox News, adding 'They came here on Jan. 15 to sign that trade deal, and that was a full two months after they knew the virus was out and about.'
Navarro's comments caused selloffs in the US stock market and declines in crude prices before he claimed his comments were taken out of context.
'[My comments] had nothing at all to do with the Phase I trade deal, which continues in place. I was simply speaking to the lack of trust we now have of the Chinese Communist Party after they lied about the origins of the China virus and foisted a pandemic upon the world,' he explained in a statement.
Investors view that any tension between the US and China, the world's two biggest economies and oil consumers, could trigger a weaker global economic outlook and oil demand estimate for this year and through 2021.
The global economy and overall oil demand worldwide are expected to contract for the first half of this year due to COVID-19.
By Ovunc Kutlu