Oil has been caught in the global financial market slump this month, with equities under pressure from the trade conflict between the world's two largest economies.
The United States has imposed tariffs on $250 billion worth of Chinese goods, and China has responded with retaliatory duties on $110 billion worth of U.S. goods.
U.S. President Donald Trump said on Monday he thinks there will be "a great deal" with China on trade but warned that he has billions of dollars worth of new tariffs ready to go if a deal is not possible. Trump said he would like to make a deal now but that China was not ready. He did not elaborate.
"Mounting perception of a weakening in global oil demand due to increasing tariff issues between the U.S. and China, while extremely difficult to measure, will be maintaining some negative influence in keeping would-be buyers sidelined," Jim Ritterbusch, president of Ritterbusch and Associates, said in a note.
The International Energy Agency (IEA) said on Tuesday high oil prices were hurting consumers and could dent fuel demand at a time of slowing global economic activity.
"There are two downward pressures on global oil demand growth. One is high oil prices, and in many countries they're directly related to consumer prices. The second one is global economic growth momentum slowing down," IEA chief Fatih Birol told an energy conference in Singapore.