Oil dips on easing US-Iran tensions, eyes on China trade deal

Oil dips on easing US-Iran tensions, eyes on China trade deal

Oil prices edged down today as fears of conflict between the US and Iran eased, although the decline was checked by the planned signing of an initial US-China trade deal this week, which could boost demand.

Brent crude LCOc1 was down 13 cents, or 0.2%, at US$64.85 per barrel at 0120 GMT. WTI was also down 9 cents, or 0.2%, at US$58.95 a barrel.

Oil prices had surged after the killing of an Iranian commander by a US drone strike and the launch of Iranian missiles in retaliation, but then slumped as the US and Iran stepped back from the brink of direct conflict.

Global benchmark Brent touched a near four-month high above US$70 before ending last week below US$65, although the situation in the Middle East remains tense.

Four Iraqi soldiers were wounded yesterday in an attack on an Iraqi air base where US troops have been based, the Iraqi military said.

“Geopolitical tension will be the focus for investors this week,” ANZ Research said in a note.

Meanwhile, expectations of thawing trade tensions between the US and China, the world’s two biggest oil consumers, have offered support for prices.

A US-China trade deal is due to be signed in Washington on Wednesday.