Oil futures fell on Monday with Wall Street, as the negative turn in the U.S.-Chinese trade talks spooked investors, who had sent oil higher in early trade on concerns about reports of sabotage attacks on tankers in the Middle East that could disrupt supplies. Brent crude futures for July delivery fell 39 cents to settle at $70.23 a barrel. The global benchmark earlier hit a session high of $72.58 a barrel. U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures fell 62 cents to settle at $61.04 a barrel, after previously hitting $63.33 a barrel.
Oil was pressured by a slump in stocks and other risk assets as investors moved into safe havens like Treasury bonds in response to the intensifying U.S.-China trade war. China defied a warning from U.S. President Donald Trump and moved to impose higher tariffs on a range of U.S. goods including frozen vegetables and liquefied natural gas. The action was widely expected after Washington last week raised tariffs on $200 billion in Chinese imports. Investors fear the trade war between the world’s two largest economies could escalate further and derail the global economy.