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Oil Prices Gain as Investors Weigh Sanctions Against Venezuela, Sino-U.S. Tensions

Oil Prices Gain as Investors Weigh Sanctions Against Venezuela, Sino-U.S. Tensions© Reuters.

Investing.com – Oil prices advanced on Tuesday in Asia as investors weighed renewed Sino-U.S. tension and sanctions against Venezuela’s state-owned oil company PDVSA.

The Donald Trump administration issued new sanctions on PDVSA on Monday that effectively blocked the regime of President Nicolas Maduro from exporting crude to the U.S. and pressured him to step aside for Juan Guaido, the opposition leader who proclaimed himself interim president last week.

were up 0.9% to $52.48 per barrel by 1:09 AM ET (6:09 GMT).

, the global oil benchmark, also gained 0.9% to $60.34 per barrel.

Citing three sources with knowledge, Reuters reported that PDVSA had requested its customers with tankers waiting to load Venezuelan crude bound for the United States to prepay for the cargoes before they leave the ports.

“They are not allowing tankers bound for Valero, Citgo and Chevron (NYSE:) to leave Venezuelan ports if not prepaid,” a PDVSA source told Reuters, referring to a decision by the company’s trade and supply division.

Looking ahead, investors’ focus will likely switch to talks on trade between the U.S. and China that are scheduled to begin later this week.

Chinese Vice Premier Liu He will meet the U.S. delegation led by Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer on Wednesday and Thursday.

However, the prospect of a trade deal was dealt a blow today after the U.S. Department of Justice filed criminal charges against China’s Huawei and CFO Meng Wanzhou.

The Justice Department unveiled two cases against the Chinese technology giant. One indictment accused the company of trying to steal trade secrets from T-Mobile, while the second indictment claimed the company violated Iran sanctions.

“Today we are announcing that we are bringing criminal charges against telecommunications giant Huawei and its associates for nearly two dozen alleged crimes,” Acting Attorney General Matthew Whitaker said in a statement. “China must hold its citizens and Chinese companies accountable for complying with the law.”

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Source: Investing.com

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