Oil prices gave back their earlier gains as concerns about a trade war between the United States and China dragged down global energy markets. U.S. West Texas Intermediate crude futures were being sold at $65.51 per barrel, after declining by 37 cents, or 0.6 percent, compared to their previous close. Brent Crude futures shed 21 cents, or 0.3 percent, and closed at $70.24 per barrel
In addition, crude prices were negatively affected by a rise in the number of U.S. rigs to a three-year high of 804. Production has already jumped by a quarter since mid-2016 to 10.4 million barrels per day.
Asian equities were traded lower following a global sell-off late last week due to fears about the rising tension between the United States and China that may lead to a full-blown trade war.
In Australia, ASX 200 went down by 0.57 percent to 5,787.30 in afternoon trade. In Japan, the Nikkei 225 index tumbled by 0.4 percent in mid-morning trade. The Topix index declined by 0.67 percent. In China, the Shanghai Composite lost 1.17 percent; the Shenzhen Composite fell by 0.49 percent. In Hong Kong, the Hang Seng index declined by 0.25 percent. In contrast, Korea’s Kospi reversed early losses and climbed by 0.2 percent, bucking the general downward trend across the region.