Oil slumped on Friday, on track for its biggest monthly drop in six months, after U.S. President Donald Trump stoked global trade tensions by threatening tariffs on Mexico, one of the largest U.S. trade partners and major supplier of crude oil.
American benchmark West Texas Intermediate, on the other hand, was at $59.39 a barrel for a 0.1% gain after ending the previous session at $58.81 per barrel.
Brent futures were down $2.10, or 3.02%, at $67.35 a barrel by 12:00 p.m. EDT, while U.S.
Crude prices have also been under pressure from a much smaller-than-expected decline in USA stockpiles and US crude oil production's return to its record 12.3 million barrels per day.
Washington will sanction any country which buys oil from Iran after the expiration of waivers on May 2, U.S. Special Representative for Iran Brian Hook said on Thursday.
Brent crude futures, the worldwide benchmark for oil prices, were at $69.85 per barrel at 0700 GMT, up 40 cents, or 0.6%, from their last close.
USA crude oil refinery inputs averaged 16.8 million barrels per day during the week ending May 24, 2019, which was 189,000 barrels per day more than the previous week's average.
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Oil prices have been supported this year by output cuts of roughly 1.2 Mmbpd from the members of Opec+, which includes most members of Opec, along with a number of non-Opec producers led by Russian Federation.
On the supply side, the daily loss in prices also came after data showed that crude oil production in the USA remained at a record high level to sustain pressure on prices. The prospect of a protracted trade war between the world's two largest economies has had investors and traders anxious that global economic growth will slow down, dragging down global oil demand growth with it.
Iran exported 1.3m bpd in March - the onus is now on the likes of Saudi Arabia and Russian Federation to pick up the slack.
"We see an abundance of escalation risks in large part because the USA sanctions are subjecting Iran to nearly unprecedented economic pain", said Helima Croft, managing director of RBC Capital Markets.
The threat compounds concerns about global economic growth, already at risk due to the U.S.
Previously, oil prices were at a similar level on February 14, 2019.
Since Opec and its allies started withholding supply in January, oil prices have risen by about 30 per cent.