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Mnuchin’s Iran comments send oil prices lower

LONDON, July 17, 2018 – Oil prices rebounded on Tuesday after plunging more than 4% in the previous session as U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said the U.S. is considering waivers on Iran sanctions for some crude importers.

Crude Oil WTI Futures for September delivery were trading at $67.16 a barrel at 12:05AM ET (04:05 GMT), up 0.15%. Brent Oil Futures for September delivery, traded in London, were also up 0.5% at $72.18 per barrel. 

Mnuchin told reporters that the U.S. wants to avoid disrupting global oil markets and is considering waivers for countries that need more time to wind down imports of oil from Iran while reimposing sanctions against Tehran.

 

President Donald Trump withdrew the U.S. from the 2015 Iran nuclear deal and restored sanctions on Tehran in May.

“We want people to reduce oil purchases to zero, but in certain cases if people can’t do that overnight, we’ll consider exceptions,” Mnuchin said. His comments contradicted some U.S. officials’ comments earlier that said there would be no exemptions.

Officials from the U.S. State Department and U.S. Treasury are expected for talks in Delhi this week to discuss Iran sanctions, according to Indian officials.

Meanwhile, recent reports that Saudi Arabia offers more crude cargoes to Asian customers were also cited as headwind for oil prices. Meanwhile, U.S. President Donald Trump was reportedly considering tapping the nation’s emergency oil supply to tame rising fuel prices.

U.S. West Texas Intermediate crude oil prices ended Monday’s session down $2.95, or 4.2%, at $68.06.

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