Investing.com - Brent oil prices fell on Monday, while U.S. crude oil prices continued to rise amid news of sanctions against Iran and the U.S. and China halting trade tariffs.
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said in an interview that the U.S. would demand major changes in Iran following America's withdrawal from the nuclear deal, with the possibility of even tougher sanctions. The withdrawl from the Iran deal has left investors on edge, as Iran supplies about 4% of global oil.
Brent crude futures, the benchmark for oil prices outside the U.S., was down 0.28% to $78.28 a barrel as of 10:19 AM ET (14:19 GMT).
Meanwhile crude was up, Crude oil futures rose 0.35% to $71.62 a barrel as news of the U.S. and China discussing a trade agreement bolstered prices.
The trade war between the U.S. and China is “on hold” as the two work on a trade agreement, U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said on Sunday. The two countries had been engaged in a tit-for-tat over tariff disagreements over the last few months. However, China has yet to agree to cut the trade deficit despite President Donald Trump’s demand that the world’s second largest economy reduce its trade surplus by $200 billion.
Oil prices have jumped over 70% in the last year due to a rise in demand and restricted supply by the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC).
OPEC has been cutting crude output by 1.8 million barrels per day (bpd) to prop up oil prices. Despite the cuts, analysts say supply is meeting demand, as U.S. production increases. The U.S. oil rig count was unchanged at 844, its highest level since March 2015, according to the latest data from Baker Hughes.
In other energy trading, gasoline futures decreased 0.17% at $2.2323 a gallon, while heating oil fell 0.46% to $2.2550 a gallon. Natural gas futures slumped 0.91% to $2.821 per million British thermal units as cooler than normal temperatures across Europe decreased demand.