By Henning Gloystein
SINGAPORE (Reuters) - Oil markets were cautious early on Friday, held back by concerns over a global economic slowdown but supported by supply cuts led by producer club OPEC and U.S. sanctions against Venezuela.
U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures were at $52.61 per barrel at 0046 GMT, down 3 cents from their last settlement. WTI dropped by around 2.5 percent the previous session.
International Brent crude oil futures had yet to trade.
If there is no agreement between the world's two biggest economies, Trump has threatened to increase U.S. tariffs on Chinese imports. Another round of talks is scheduled for next week in Beijing.
Despite this, traders said crude prices were prevented from falling much further by supply cuts led by the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC), which were introduced late last year and are aimed at tightening the market and propping up prices.
As part of these cuts, Saudi Arabia - the world's biggest crude oil exporter and de-facto leader of OPEC - cut its crude output in January by about 400,000 barrels per day (bpd) to 10.24 million bpd, according to OPEC sources.
Another risk to oil supply comes from Venezuela after the implementation of U.S. sanctions against the OPEC-member's petroleum industry in late January. Analysts expect this move to knock out 300,000-500,000 bpd of exports.
Yet for the time being, the sanctions impact on international oil markets was limited.
"The (Venezuela) disruption overall seems manageable both for the U.S. and the global market," said Norbert Rücker, head of commodity research at Swiss bank Julius Baer. "The oil market sits on a comfortable cushion of supply."
(Reporting by Henning Gloystein; Editing by Kenneth Maxwell)
(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)