Crude oil prices were steady at Tuesday’s trading start as concerns over low global oil demand balanced out with U.S.-Iran tensions that are threatening to impact crude supply from the Middle East.
International benchmark Brent crude was trading at $63.89 a barrel at 0643 GMT with little change from the previous close of $63.92 per barrel.
American benchmark West Texas Intermediate was at $57.45 per barrel at the same time unchanged from Monday’s close.
The trade conflict between the U.S. and China remains unresolved and continues to weaken global oil demand, especially for major economies in Asia.
Further diminishing demand, real wages in Japan, the world’s fourth largest oil consumer, fell for a fifth consecutive month in May, according to the country’s labor ministry.
On the supply side, the tension between the U.S. and Iran continues to threaten secure crude supply from the Strait of Hormuz — the world’s largest oil transit chokepoint.
Tehran said Monday that it had started the second phase of reducing commitments under the historic 2015 nuclear deal, which U.S. Donald Trump withdrew his country from in October 2017.
Since Washington re-imposed sanctions on Iran to hurt the country’s oil industry, multiple oil tankers were attacked in the Strait while Iran had shut down an American drone.