Oil prices down as US prepares for tariffs on Europe


Crude oil prices were down early Thursday as global economic growth and oil demand forecasts are clouded with the U.S. preparing to impose tariffs on the European Union (EU). 

After falling 2.31% on Wednesday, international benchmark Brent crude extended its losses to trade at $57.52 per barrel at 0630 GMT.

American benchmark West Texas Intermediate was $52.59 a barrel at the same time, after posting a 2.09% loss on Wednesday.

The World Trade Organization (WTO) ruled in favor of the U.S. on Wednesday in a 15-year battle over illegal subsidies to aircraft maker Airbus, enabling Washington to impose levies on the EU.

U.S. President Donald Trump’s administration said it is now preparing to impose tariffs on some $7.5 billion worth of European goods.

The ruling allows the U.S. to open a second front in trade wars, as Washington has been in a trade conflict with China for more than a year.

The friction across the Atlantic could severely damage U.S.-EU economic relations, and hurt global economic growth and overall oil demand in major economies, analysts warned.
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