Oil edges up as Israel sets announcement on Iran deal

02 May, 2018, 01:41 | Author: Salvatore Jensen
  • Oil Prices Mixed After Nearing Multi-Year High

US President Donald Trump is facing a May 12 deadline to decide whether to restart US sanctions against Iran, potentially ending the 2015 deal that halted sanctions in order to end Iran's nuclear program.

Crude has rallied this month amid heightened geopolitical tensions and Trump's indications that he might scrap the 2015 nuclear deal with Iran.

"They want to try and work out a deal that could be independent of any kind of Trump walk-away", said Bob Yawger, director of futures at Mizuho Securities USA Inc.in NY.

Oil prices rose on Monday as Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu presented what he called evidence of a secret Iranian nuclear weapons programme.

"We'll see oil fluctuating as uncertainties will persist over whether Trump will withdraw from the Iran nuclear agreement", Vincent Hwang, a commodities analyst at NH Investment & Securities, said by phone in Seoul.

The recent Dollars strength has negatively impacted Gold as the intensity of the USD correction caught most traders by surprise.

West Texas Intermediate crude for June delivery climbed 47 cents to settle at $68.57 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange. "Reimposing US sanctions is not a foregone conclusion just yet".

Buyers were pressing for lower levels in part because of good availability of crude in Europe and the US and a wide gap between Brent and the US WTI benchmarks.

Brent was on track for a weekly gain of about 1 percent, while WTI was set for a weekly loss of about 0.3 percent. Investors are assessing if surging USA production, which has topped 10 million barrels a day every week since early February, will undermine efforts by the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries to balance the market via output cuts.

Angola, once Africa's biggest crude producer, is suffering sharp declines at under-invested offshore fields, with output dropping nearly three times as much as the nation pledged in an accord with fellow Opec members.

Saudi Aramco, the world's biggest crude exporter, appointed new board members with experience in global oil and petrochemical businesses as it plans a possible overseas share sale in what could be a record initial public offering. USA crude production rose by 46,000 BPD the previous week, to 10.59 MMBPD.

Over the past two months, WTI's discount to Brent has more than doubled to over $6 a barrel from around $3 at the beginning of March.

The U.S. dollar surged into positive territory for 2018 and broke past key levels against several currencies as a divergence between growth and the interest rate outlook versus other countries spurred investors to chase the currency higher.



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