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Oil prices decline amid trade concerns, Middle East tensions

2019-08-07 04:41

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NEW YORK, Aug. 6 (Xinhua) -- Oil prices continued to plunge on Tuesday amid growing fears that escalating U.S.-China trade frictions and geopolitical tensions between Iran and the West would weaken global crude demand.

The West Texas Intermediate for September delivery decreased 1.06 U.S. dollars to settle at 53.63 dollars a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange, while Brent crude for October delivery fell 0.87 dollar to close at 58.94 dollars a barrel on the London ICE Futures Exchange.

The U.S. Treasury's decision to label China "a currency manipulator" late Monday is totally wrong, said Chen Yulu, deputy governor of the People's Bank of China (PBOC), the central bank, on Tuesday.

The U.S. move has been largely regarded as an escalation of U.S.-China trade war, which caused widespread panic through global financial markets.

The label not only violates the common sense of economics and international consensus, but also fails to meet the quantitative criteria for the so-called "currency manipulator" set by the U.S. Treasury, said Chen.

Investors have also been concerned about the ongoing geopolitical tensions between Iran and the United States in the region.

If the United States wants negotiations with Iran, it must lift all the sanctions against Iran, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani said on Tuesday.

With the "maximum pressure" campaign against Iran, U.S. sincerity in its repeated offers of talks is doubtful, he noted.

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