Oil prices saw declines at trading start on Thursday due to heightened trade tensions between the U.S. and China, raising the possibility of a global economic slowdown and overall weaker oil demand.
International benchmark Brent crude was trading at $69.83 per barrel at 0630 GMT with a 0.7% decline after closing Wednesday at $70.31 a barrel.
American benchmark West Texas Intermediate was at $61.73 a barrel at the same time, for a 0.3% loss, after ending the previous session at $61.93 per barrel.
The trade tensions between the world's two largest economies increased as U.S. President Donald Trump claimed that China "broke the deal."
"They can't do that. So they'll be paying," Trump told supporters at a campaign rally in the state of Florida on Wednesday, after he threatened to increase tariffs on $200 billion Chinese goods from 10% to 25% on Sunday, and added that a 25% tariff would be applied on an additional $325 billion worth of Chinese goods "shortly."
Beijing said if Washington increases the rate of tariffs, then it would retaliate with the "necessary countermeasures."
"The escalation of trade friction is not in the interests of the people of the two countries and the people of the world," the Chinese Commerce Ministry said in a statement.
If the trade talks fail, investors fear that it could pave the way for a global economic slowdown, lowering oil demand around the world, while putting a downward pressure on oil prices.
By Ovunc Kutlu