Crude oil prices were down at trading start Wednesday as U.S.-China trade worries continue to threaten global oil demand, which was escalated by Chinese tech giant Huawei taking legal action to end a lawsuit in the U.S.
International benchmark Brent crude was trading at $68.03 per barrel at 0640 GMT for a 1% loss after ending Tuesday at $68.69 a barrel.
American benchmark West Texas Intermediate was at $58.42 a barrel at the same time, posting a 0.8% decline, after closing the previous session at $58.91 per barrel.
U.S. President Donald Trump said Monday that his country "is not ready to make a deal" with China, while adding that Beijing "probably wish they made the deal that they had on the table before they tried to renegotiate it."
Trump also warned that Washington's tariffs on Beijing "could go up very substantially, very easily."
The ending of the 11th round of trade negotiations without a resolution between the world's two largest oil consumers signal that global oil demand could be weaker this year, thus putting downward pressure on oil prices.
Trade relations between the world's two biggest economies strained further after Chinese tech giant Huawei filed a motion in a U.S. court on Tuesday to end a lawsuit against the company.
Huawei, in the motion, challenged the constitutionality of a U.S. law, the National Defense Authorization Act, which bans American federal agencies from buying Huawei products.
The Chinese firm argues that the act violates the U.S. Constitution since it singles out a specific company with any trial. The Eastern District of Texas court is scheduled for a hearing on Sept. 19.
Trump suggested in a talk on May 24 that Huawei could be used as a bargaining chip in U.S.-China trade talks. "It's possible that Huawei even would be included in some kind of a trade deal. If we made a deal, I could imagine Huawei being possibly included in some form."
Huawei founder and CEO Ren Zhengfei said Monday that he would ignore Trump.
"Even if the U.S. wants to buy our products in the future, I may not sell to them. There's no need for negotiation. I will ignore Trump, then with whom can he negotiate? If he calls me, I may not answer," he said.
By Ovunc Kutlu