The price of international oil standard Brent crude plummeted to its lowest point since the beginning of the year today as trade war worries gripped the market.
The 3.2 per cent oil price drop came after a torrid week for markets, with prices down by around $8 since last Wednesday.
A barrel of the black stuff reached lows of $56.77 this afternoon.
“Oil has been crushed by recent events and the risks posed to the global economy and therefore the demand outlook,” said Craig Erlam, an analyst Oanda.
Meanwhile WTI crude, the US standard, hit $52.06 per barrel, down 2.9 per cent on the day.
Yesterday US President Donald Trump said that the trade row with China was unlikely to be drawn out further. But that was not enough to calm global markets after he slapped tariffs on more Chinese goods last week.
“The market continues to grow more uncertain about the demand outlook given the deterioration of trade talks between China and the US,” ING analysts said in a note.
It comes as tensions in the Middle East have worried traders in recent weeks.
Iran’s Revolutionary Guard has boarded both British and Iraqi ships going through the Persian Gulf. Meanwhile British Royal Marines have boarded an Iranian oil tanker they said was breaking European sanctions on Syria.
The two sides have also been facing off over the Strait of Hormuz, with the US Navy last month downing an Iranian drone over the strait.
It came after several small attacks on international tankers going through the strait, which the US blames on Iran and its proxies.
Main image credit: Getty