Photo: Yegor Aleyev/TASS via Getty Image

Global oil demand growth from January through May was the slowest for that period since 2008, and the "situation is becoming even more uncertain" as the U.S.-China trade fight heats up, the International Energy Agency said Friday.

Why it matters: Its closely-watched monthly report provides fresh evidence of how the global economic slowdown is weighing on oil markets. Prices are at their lowest levels since January, despite tensions in the Middle East that typically put upward pressure on the market. "Economic woes hold sway over geopolitics," it said.

But, but, but: Crude oil prices moved up back up somewhat on Friday, "supported by expectations of more OPEC production cuts," Reuters notes. The global benchmark Brent crude was trading above $58-per-barrel on Friday morning.

Where it stands: The IEA again trimmed its overall demand growth forecasts for 2019 and 2020. The Paris-based agency now sees oil demand growing by 1.1 million barrels per day this year and 1.3 million barrels per day next year.

  • "The outlook is fragile with a greater likelihood of a downward revision than an upward one," the report notes.
  • The increase of 520,000 barrels per day in the January through May stretch was the weakest in 11 years.

What they're saying: "Economic recession risk and further escalation of the U.S.-China trade war are key concerns in the near term," the consultancy Rystad Energy said in a note.

  • "Oil prices are swept up in stock market and commodity losses due to rising concern about trade disputes, the health of the global economy and weak oil demand," IEA's report states.

Go deeper: The IEA's case against peak oil demand

Go deeper

Updated 6 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 6 p.m. ET: 11,712,663 — Total deaths: 540,582 — Total recoveries — 6,381,954Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 6 p.m. ET: 2,981,602 — Total deaths: 131,238 — Total recoveries: 924,148 — Total tested: 36,225,015Map.
  3. 2020: Biden releases plan to strengthen coronavirus supply chain.
  4. Congress: Trump administration notifies Congress of intent to withdraw from WHO — At least 8 Mississippi lawmakers test positive for coronavirus.
  5. Public health: Fauci says it's a "false narrative" to take comfort in lower coronavirus death rate — Deborah Birx: Some Southern states "stepped on the gas" when reopening.
  6. World: Brazil's President Bolsonaro tests positive— India reports third-highest case count in the world.
Updated 1 hour ago - Politics & Policy

Trump administration notifies UN of intent to withdraw from WHO

Photo: Tasos Katopodis/Getty Images

The Trump administration informed the United Nations and Congress on Tuesday that the U.S. is officially beginning the process of withdrawing from the World Health Organization. The UN is now "in the process of verifying with the WHO whether all the conditions for such withdrawal are met," according to a spokesperson.

Why it matters: President Trump's decision to formally withdraw from the UN's global health agency — which will take effect on July 6, 2021 — comes as the pandemic continues to accelerate both in the U.S. and around the world. The U.S. is by far the largest donor to the WHO out of any country, contributing more than 14% of its total budget.

1 hour ago - Podcasts

What Ghislaine Maxwell might know

New York regulators on Tuesday fined Deutsche Bank $150 million for its dealings with Jeffrey Epstein. This came five days after the arrest of Epstein confidant Ghislaine Maxwell on sex trafficking charges.

Axios Re:Cap digs into what secrets Maxwell might know about Epstein's business dealings, and why it's causing some sleepless nights in the Hamptons, with Business Insider's Meghan Morris.