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.
Weighing on financial markets, including crude oil futures, were concerns that trade disputes between the United States and China would remain unresolved, denting global economic growth prospects.
U.S. President Donald Trump said on Thursday he did not plan to meet with Chinese President Xi Jinping before a March 1 deadline set by the two countries to achieve a trade deal.
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.