Oil falls on new tariffs

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    TOKYO- Oil prices were lower on Monday after new tariffs imposed by the United States and China came into force, raising concerns about a further hit to global growth and demand for crude.

    Brent crude was down 27 cents, or 0.5 percent, at $58.98 a barrel, while US oil was down 2 cents at $55.083 at barrel.

    The United States began imposing 15 percent tariffs on a variety of Chinese goods on Sunday – including footwear, smart watches and flat-panel televisions – as China put new duties on US crude, the latest escalation in a bruising trade war.

    US President Donald Trump said the sides would still meet for talks later this month.

    Trump, writing on Twitter, said his goal was to reduce US reliance on China and he again urged American companies to find alternate suppliers outside China.

    Beijing’s levy of 5 percent on US crude marks the first time the fuel had been targeted since the world’s two largest economies started their trade war more than a year ago.

    “The trade and tariff overhang is inescapable for oil markets, so while trade uncertainties persist, it will be difficult for oil to shrug off concerns about the threat to global demand,” said Stephen Innes, APAC market strategist at AxiTrader.

    South Korea’s exports tumbled in August for a ninth consecutive month, on sluggish demand from its biggest buyer, China, and depressed prices of computer chips globally, government data showed on Sunday. – Reuters