Aug. 13 (UPI) -- Global tensions that would be supportive of crude oil prices were offset by signs of economic slowdown to push the price of oil slightly lower early Monday.
U.S. President Donald Trump added fuel to the fire in the Turkish economy by pledging to double the rate for tariffs on Turkish exports of aluminum in steel. Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, meanwhile, suggested Ankara may be looking for new alliances given the growing acrimony with the West.
Erdogan last week called on the Turkish people to exchange U.S. dollars and gold for the Turkish lira, which has been in a free fall. That collapse spilled over to the European markets, though by Monday the Turkish Central Bank vowed to take action to correct the decline.
"The Central Bank will provide all the liquidity the banks need," it stated.
The easing of financial tensions cooled commodities markets ahead of the start of U.S. trading. The price for Brent crude oil, the global benchmark for the price of oil, was down 0.12 percent as of 9:20 a.m. EDT to $72.72 per barrel, after finishing up 1 percent on Friday. West Texas Intermediate, the U.S. benchmark, was down 0.47 percent to $67.31 per barrel.
Economists at the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries kept their forecast for global growth unchanged, meanwhile, noting strength in the United States and China was offset by declines in Europe. For demand, the world's appetite for oil starts to wane and OPEC economists announced a downward revision to 2019 forecast by 20,000 barrels per day.
By next year, OPEC economists predicted a cyclical slowdown for the U.S. economy. European growth in 2019 was revised lower by 0.1 percent to 1.9 percent, while China slows from 6.6 percent in 2018 to 6.2 percent next year.
In the months ahead, OPEC took note of numerous emerging challenges.
"The main areas of concern include political uncertainties," economists wrote. "Among these, it is trade-related developments in particular that warrant close monitoring in the near-term."