Oil prices reach for recovery after trade concerns spur selloff

Oil prices rose Tuesday but remained under pressure amid heightening trade tensions between the U.S. and China.

Brent crude
LCOM8, +0.24%
, the global benchmark, was up 0.5% at $67.98 a barrel on Londons Intercontinental Exchange. On the New York Mercantile Exchange, West Texas Intermediate futures
CLK8, +0.40%
were trading up 0.5% at $63.35 a barrel.

Prices had slid to a two-week low Monday, with Brent closing down 2.5%, after China imposed import tariffs on U.S. goods. That was a response to tariffs on Chinese steel and aluminum imports introduced by the Trump administration earlier this year. Analysts and traders have warned that these actions could trigger a global trade war that would weigh on economic growth and subsequently dampen demand for petroleum products.

The trade disputes continue to create market noise, putting downward pressure in particular on the cyclical commodities like oil, according to Norbert Ruecker, head of macro and commodity research at Julius Baer. Despite the global economy humming, we see more downside for the asset class as market mood cools and profit-taking pressures prices, Ruecker said in a note Tuesday.

Brent had closed up above $70 a barrel ahead of the Easter weekendclose to a three-year highwith prices lifted by growing geopolitical risk.

But prices started the second quarter under pressure. As well as concerns about trade, prices were hurt by burgeoning Russian oil production in March and a confirmation that U.S. supply outperformed expectations in January, according to analysts at consultancy JBC Energy.

Russias crude output in March climbed by 20,000 barrels a day, to 10.97 million barrels a da