London — Oil prices slide backward on Monday after last week’s gains over concerns of rising tensions between the United States and China on Beijing’s plans to impose security laws on Hong Kong and the possibility of sanctions from Washington.
International Brent went down 19 cents, or 0.5 percent at $34.94 a barrel, US oil was down by 6 cents, or 0.2 percent at $33.19 a barrel, while OPEC’s basket of thirteen crudes stood at $28.43 a barrel last Tuesday, compared with $28.21 the previous day, according to the most recent data from OPEC Secretariat calculations.
Hong Kong police used tear gas and water cannons on Sunday to disperse thousands of people rallying against Beijing’s plan to impose national security laws on the city.
“The HK security legislation packs on a hefty amount (of) trade war risk premium,” said Stephen Innes, chief market strategist at AxiCorp told Reuters in an interview, noting that it added to market worries last week about the level of Chinese policy stimulus.
Relations between Washington and Beijing have deteriorated since the outbreak of the COVID19 virus. President Donald Trump and President Xi Jinping have traded words over the outbreak, including accusations of cover-ups and lack of transparency.
Clashes between the superpowers have included Hong Kong, human rights, trade, and U.S. support for Chinese-claimed Taiwan.