Oil prices fell for a second day on Tuesday on signs that global economic growth is being hit by the US-China trade war, although losses were limited by tensions in the Middle East after last week’s tanker attacks.
Brent crude futures were trading down 40 cents, or 0.7 per cent, at 60.54 dollars a barrel by 0701 GMT. They fell 1.7 per cent in the previous session on concerns about slowing global growth.
US West Texas Intermediate crude futures were down 28 cents, or 0.5 per cent, at 51.65 dollars. They dropped by 1.1 per cent on Monday.
The New York Federal Reserve said on Monday that its gauge of business growth in New York State posted a record fall this month to its weakest level in more than 2 to 1/2 years, suggesting an abrupt contraction in regional activity.
US business sentiment has sagged as tensions over trade have escalated between China and the United States and on signs of softness in the labour market.
“The (oil) market is in a rut and desperately in need of some robust economic data to get it out of this funk,” said Stephen Innes, managing partner at Vanguard Markets in Bangkok.
Oil prices have fallen around 20 per cent since 2019 highs reached in April, in part, due to concerns about the U.S.-China trade war and disappointing economic data.