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Oil steady as U.S. decision on Iran sanctions looms

Iraq joins call to reduce oil production
Oil prices steadied on Friday, consolidating after recent gains, as global supplies remained tight and the market awaited news from Washington on possible new U.S. sanctions against Iran, Reuters reported.
Brent crude oil was down 30 cents at $73.32 a barrel by 0900 GMT. The benchmark contract hit a 3-1/2 year closing high of $75.17 on Monday.
U.S. light crude was 20 cents down at $68.23.
“Rising geopolitical risks have been a big factor behind oil’s strong rise this year,” ANZ analysts Daniel Hynes and Soni Kumari wrote in a note to clients.
“The extent of the rally would have been significantly weaker if not for recent tightness in the market. We expect the market to tighten even further in H2 2018.”
ANZ has a 12-month target for Brent of $80 a barrel.
Reuters technical analyst Wang Tao said that the market could re-test a price support level at $72.39 a barrel after peaking around resistance at $75.45.
Oil traders are concerned that sanctions against Iran could cut oil supplies.
Iran’s foreign minister said on Thursday that U.S. demands to change its 2015 nuclear agreement with world powers were unacceptable as a deadline set by President Donald Trump for Europeans to “fix” the deal loomed.
Trump has said that unless European allies rectify the “terrible flaws” in the international accord by May 12, he will refuse to extend U.S. sanctions relief for the oil-producing nation.
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