Oil prices declined on Monday as weak exports data from China and lingering U.S.-China trade worries spurred fresh concerns regarding fuel demand.
Also, investors adopted a cautious stance ahead of key developments this week, including the Federal Reserve’s latest interest rate decision, new ECB boss Christine Lagarde’s first policy meeting and the U.K. general election.
Benchmark Brent crude dropped 0.9 percent to $63.83 per barrel, after having climbed nearly 3 percent last week on the prospects for lower production from OPEC and its allies.
West Texas Intermediate oil futures were also down 0.9 percent at $58.66 a barrel, after having risen almost 7 percent last week.
Investors fretted about an escalation in the U.S.-China trade war after top White House economic adviser Larry Kudlow said that a Dec. 15 deadline is still in place to impose a new round of U.S. tariffs on Chinese consumer goods.
Weak exports data from China underscored persistent pressures on manufacturers from the prolonged Sino-U.S. trade war.
China’s exports shrank for the fourth consecutive month in November, although imports came in better than expected, suggesting that Beijing’s stimulus efforts are working.