Mounting tensions with Iran, China leave oil prices in flux

May 17, 2019 - 2:40 pm

NEW YORK (AP) — A rare mix of geopolitical tensions in the Middle East and China is tugging oil prices in opposite directions and creating uncertainty over where they might land.

Deteriorating trade talks between the United States and China, the world's two largest economies, are posing a serious threat to global economic growth and whenever that growth sputters, demand for oil and gasoline typically craters.

But escalating tensions in the Middle East and elsewhere could threaten oil supply, which could push the price of oil and gasoline higher.

The impact on gasoline prices is hard to predict. They typically rise when driving season kicks into high gear for the summer. But given the conflicts around the globe, they could soar to unusual heights or fall to levels that hurt producers in the U.S. and abroad.

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