Oil prices eased on Wednesday after stagnant US economic stimulus talks, and with US President Donald Trump postponing US-China trade talks.
International benchmark Brent crude was trading at $45.05 per barrel at 0614GMT for a 0.9% decrease after closing Tuesday at $45.46 a barrel.
American benchmark West Texas Intermediate was at $42.56 per barrel at the same time, down 1.3% after ending the previous session at $43.12 a barrel.
Trump on Tuesday said he postponed trade negotiations with China, commenting that he does not want to talk to China “right now.”
Scheduled talks between representatives from the US and China to discuss the implementation of the so-called Phase 1 trade pact on Saturday were canceled.
The escalating US-China tension is intensifying the risk of low oil demand from the world's two largest economies and oil consumers and putting negative pressure on oil prices.
The growing uncertainty over a Washington stalemate in talks on a recovery package for the pandemic's fallout is also keeping downward pressure on prices.
Late Tuesday, the American Petroleum Institute (API) announced its estimate of a fall of 4.3 million barrels in US crude oil inventories last week, more than the expected 2.7 million-barrel draw, which signaled a potential rise in US oil demand.
On the demand side, as COVID-19 continues to spread around the world, the global economic outlook and overall oil demand continue to remain weak.
The number of COVID-19 cases worldwide is now over 22 million, according to the latest data from Johns Hopkins University.
As the US leads the number of cases with more than 5.4 million as of Wednesday morning, Brazil has over 3.4 million, and India follows with more than 2.7 million cases.
By Sibel Morrow