Brent crude fell 25 cents to $43.06 a barrel by 0713 GMT, and US West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude eased 28 cents to $40.79.
China ordered the United States to shut its consulate within the city of Chengdu on Friday, responding to a US demand this week that China shut its Houston consulate, as relations between the world’s two largest economies deteriorate.
The greenback slid to 22-month lows towards a basket of currencies.
A weaker greenback often spurs shopping for of commodities priced within the buck, like oil, as a result of they change into cheaper for holders of different currencies.
The US financial outlook has darkened prior to now month amid renewed lockdowns in some states from surging coronavirus cases, based on economists in a Reuters ballot.
The variety of Americans submitting for unemployment advantages hit 1.416 million last week, unexpectedly rising for the primary time in practically 4 months, suggesting the US financial restoration is stalling amid a resurgence in COVID-19 cases.
The United States on Thursday recorded greater than 1,000 deaths from COVID-19 for a 3rd straight day because the pandemic escalates in its southern and western states.
Globally, greater than 15 million have been contaminated and over 620,000 have died.
While the rise in infections has fanned fears of renewed authorities lockdowns, worries that oil demand might be hit have been exacerbated by tensions between the United States and China – the world’s prime two oil customers.
In China, congestion at east coast oil ports is including to prices for shippers and importers whilst gasoline demand stalls.
Oil prices might see a near-term correction if a restoration in gasoline demand slows additional, particularly within the United States, Barclays Commodities Research said.
The financial institution lowered its oil market surplus forecast for 2020 to a mean of two.5 million barrels per day (bpd) from 3.5 million bpd beforehand.