Oil prices fall as Trump adviser’s exit stokes trade war fears

SINGAPORE: Oil prices fell on Wednesday, pulled down by declining stock markets after a key advocate for free trade in the US government resigned, stoking concerns Washington will go ahead with import tariffs and risk a trade war.
Soaring US crude oil production and rising inventories also dragged on crude prices, traders said.
Gary Cohn, economic adviser to US President Donald Trump, said on Tuesday he was resigning, triggering a more than 1 per cent fall in S&P 500 futures on Wednesday.
Crude oil followed suit, with Brent futures down 53 cents, or 0.8 per cent, from their previous close to $65.26 per barrel at 0747 GMT.
US West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures were at $62.14 a barrel, down 46 cents, or 0.7 per cent.
“The overhang from the Cohn resignation… could see oil prices move lower during today’s session,” said Stephen Innes, head of trading for Asia-Pacific at futures brokerage OANDA in Singapore.
A voice for Wall Street in the White House, Cohn’s move to resign came after he lost a fight over Trump’s plans for hefty steel and aluminium import tariffs.
Major powers, have warned that such tariffs could lead to retaliatory action and trigger a global trade war, which could grind to a halt economic growth and, by extension, oil consumption. — Reuters