Via Reuters Finance

FILE PHOTO: Grandpuits oil refinery southeast of Paris, France, February 29, 2016. REUTERS/Christian Hartmann/File Photo

SEOUL (Reuters) – Oil prices edged down on Monday as fears of conflict between the United States and Iran eased, although the decline was checked by the planned signing of an initial U.S.-China trade deal this week, which could boost demand.

Brent crude LCOc1 was down 13 cents, or 0.2%, at $64.85 per barrel at 0120 GMT. WTI was also down 9 cents, or 0.2%, at $58.95 a barrel.

Oil prices had surged after the killing of an Iranian commander by a U.S. drone strike and the launch of Iranian missiles in retaliation, but then slumped as the United States and Iran stepped back from the brink of direct conflict.

Global benchmark Brent touched a near four-month high above $70 before ending last week below $65, although the situation in the Middle East remains tense.

Four Iraqi soldiers were wounded on Sunday in an attack on an Iraqi air base where U.S. troops have been based, the Iraqi military said.

“Geopolitical tension will be the focus for investors this week,” ANZ Research said in a note.

Meanwhile, expectations of thawing trade tensions between the United States and China, the world’s two biggest oil consumers, have offered support for prices.

A U.S.-China trade deal is due to be signed in Washington on Wednesday.

Reporting By Jane Chung; editing by Richard Pullin

READ ALSO  Watch Live: Biden Administration Holds First White House Press Briefing