Trade war, U.S. inventories point to weaker crude prices in Asia

U.S. two-dollar billsPhoto by Leslie Shaffer

Crude oil prices pointed weaker in Asia on Tuesday with a trade war between Beijing and Washington and upcoming industry estimates on U.S. inventories in focus.

ICE Brent crude was quoted down 0.12 percent to US$78 a barrel, while NYMEX West Texas Intermediate was flat. Brent settled down 0.05 percent to US$78.05 a barrel, while WTI slipped 0.12 percent to US$68.91 a barrel.

After the close of U.S. markets Monday, President Donald Trump announced the government would be imposing additional tariffs on US$200 billion of Chinese imports. The tariffs will take effect on Sept. 24, according to the White House. Additionally, the president warned if China took retaliatory action US$267 billion of additional imports would be imposed.

Tuesday, the American Petroleum Institute will release its estimates of weekly U.S. crude oil and refined product stocks at 4:30 p.m. U.S. EDT. Initial analyst estimates, according to Investing.com, see a 2.391 million barrels drop in crude and a 500,000 barrels decline in gasoline.

The figures will be followed by official data from the Energy Information Administration on Wednesday at 10:30 a.m. U.S. EDT.