Investing.com - Oil prices were mixed on Friday, as traders looked ahead to the weekly oil data later in the day.

Crude oil futures fell 0.28% to $63.36 a barrel by 10:15 AM ET (14:15 GMT).

Brent crude futures, the benchmark for oil prices outside the U.S., was flat at $68.38 a barrel.

Traders were looking ahead to the weekly U.S. Baker Hughes Oil Rig count, which is used to gauge crude production and market sentiment. The report is expected at 1:00 PM ET (17:00 GMT).

Prices were also held back by fears of a trade war between the two biggest countries in the world.

On Thursday Trump said he was asking the United States Trade Representative to consider $100 billion more in tariffs as a retaliation against China.

China’s state media said Beijing will defend its interests “against new U.S. actions.” The country has already announced two sets of tariffs this week in a tit-for-tat against technology, steel and aluminium tariffs imposed by Trump but neither side has announced an effective data for the tariffs.

The price of oil has been stuck between the rise in U.S. shale and a deal from the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries’ and Russia to curb production and end a global supply glut.

OPEC has been cutting crude output by 1.8 million barrels per day (bpd) to prop up oil prices. The pact began in January 2017 and is set to expire at the end of 2018 but de-facto leader Saudi Arabia is pushing for the cuts to extend into 2019.

In an unusual move, Saudi Arabia announced on Thursday it would raise its official selling price for May crude sold to Asia. Traders had expected a cut of between 50 cents to 60 cents a barrel according to a Reuters survey.

In other energy trading, gasoline futures decreased 0.37% at $1.9786 a gallon, while heating oil rose 0.37% to $1.9838 a gallon. Natural gas futures rose 0.93% to $2.700 per million British thermal units.