Tuesday, 12 November, 2019

USA stocks edge lower ahead of Trump decision on Iran deal

This image illustrates U.S. President Donald Trump's decision to withdraw from the Iran nuclear deal This image illustrates U.S. President Donald Trump's decision to withdraw from the Iran nuclear deal
Russell Knight | 10 May, 2018, 14:14

The governments of France, Germany and the United Kingdom all said on Tuesday they wanted to stick to the deal.

The move by the USA could cut global oil supplies by 500,000 b/d-1 million b/d by the end of the year and disrupt other energy and metals markets.

That made Iran the third-biggest exporter of crude within OPEC, behind Saudi Arabia and Iraq.

ENERGY: Benchmark U.S. crude oil added 62 cents to $71.76 a barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange.

Futures briefly spiked to new highs after the U.S Energy Information Administration reported US stockpiles of both crude oil and gasoline fell by 2.2 million barrels in the week through May 4.

According to Credit Suisse, the last time Iran was subject to global sanctions (between 2010 and 2016), oil exports fell from 2.2 million barrels per day to around 1.1 million barrels.

Global markets were higher Thursday, tracking solid overnight gains on Wall Street despite lingering concerns about the USA withdrawal from the Iran nuclear deal and trade tensions between Asia and the U.S.

"Although re-imposed U.S. sanctions on Iran will not have the same reach as the multilateral sanctions that were put in place to get Iran to come to an agreement in 2015 in the first place, this decision by Trump is still significant in terms of the potential broader regional impact of worsening relations between Washington and Tehran", Kiernan said.

Similar sentiments prevail in Asia.

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"Russia, China, Turkey and India will likely all oppose the sanctions and keep their current levels of Iranian crude purchases", Khoman said.

Japan's Foreign Minister Taro Kono said on Wednesday that his country supported the agreement, which "helps to strengthen worldwide non-proliferation and the stability in the Middle East". Its crude exports averaged over 2 million bpd in January-March quarter this year.

Speaking earlier to CNN, he said that any factor that prevented the smooth running of the oil industry "will not be in the interest of the global economy" in reference to a USA exit from the Iranian nuclear deal. Elsewhere in the world, refiners in Europe said they planned to continue importing Iranian crude for May and June loading, according to results from S&P Platts survey.

All key crude oil futures contracts saw traded volumes jump as investors took new positions and refiners hedged to protect themselves from higher feedstock prices. The US decision on Iran will also raise fears about increased geopolitical tensions in the Middle East, which would equate to further supply constraints and a further catalyst for oil prices.

Russian Federation and Saudi Arabia have agreed to a series of production cutbacks, while Venezuela, once one of the world's largest suppliers, has seen its production levels collapse.

The threat of new sanctions comes as demand in Asia, the world's biggest oil-consuming region, hit a record and producers, including Saudi Arabia and Russian Federation restrict supply to prop up prices. Uncertainty over the policy helped lift the price of crude on Monday above $70 a barrel for the first time since November 2014.

"Immediately there will be no impact but we have to wait and watch how other nations particularly the European block, react", said A K Sharma, Director (Finance) of Indian Oil Corp (IOC), the country's largest oil firm.

Trying to ease market concerns, Saudi Arabia said on Wednesday that it would work with other producers to lessen the impact of any shortage in oil supplies.

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