Oil Prices Flat As Dust Settles Over Global Trade Disputes

Near-global concerns about U.S. trade policies and growth in crude oil production from leading suppliers helped push crude oil prices lower on Monday.

Global finance ministers offered a stern rebuke to the U.S. government at a meeting of the G7 during the weekend in Canada. While saying the global economy is strong and expansion is on pace to continue, the decision last week to impose aluminum and steel tariffs could undermine growth, they said.

“Concerns were expressed that the tariffs imposed by the United States on its friends and allies, on the grounds of national security, undermine open trade and confidence in the global economy,” a joint statement read.

Meanwhile, a weekend meeting of a committee monitoring the effort from the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries pledged to keep the market supplied against current and potential deficits. That followed a May call from Russian Energy Minister Alexander Novak to put more oil on the market in the second half of the year.

Oil prices were sharply lower in overnight trading, but pulled back to mixed ahead of the opening bell in New York. The price for Brent was down 0.38 percent as of 9:15 a.m. EDT to $76.50 per barrel. West Texas Intermediate, the U.S. benchmark for the price of oil, was up 0.08 percent to $65.86 per barrel.

The U.S. Energy Information Administration reported last week that total U.S. oil production hit a record at 10.47 million barrels per day. Traders and other watchers will be paying close attention this week to who’s at the podium at this week’s annual EIA conference in Washington.

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