Crude plunged, then rebounded a bit after a report that U.S. President Donald Trump has told his French counterpart he’ll abandon the Iranian nuclear accord and enact a tougher round of sanctions.
An earlier story from CNN saying the U.S. would re-impose sanctions that could take months to bite pushed futures down as much as 4.4 percent, the worst plunge in three months. Moments later, the price began rising when the New York Times reported on Trump’s comments to France’s Emmanuel Macron.
“I’m not surprised we’re seeing these whipsaws in prices as people try to find facts to hold on to,” said Ashley Petersen, lead oil analyst at Stratas Advisors in New York. The sentiment “is still basically he’s going to end up pulling out and we’re going to eventually lose that supply from Iran.”
The sweetheart deal given to Iran, in order to bring them into the global conversation on nuclear non-proliferation, has been an irksome reminder of the Obama administration’s go easy policy on intransigent international geopolitical problems for many conservatives. By withdrawing from it President Trump serves the dual purpose of fulfilling a campaign promise and boosting the price of an increasingly important US export.
Brent Crude has paused near the psychological $75 over the last couple of weeks in what has been a shallower reaction than any seen since the recovery began in June of last year. A sustained move below $72.50 is the minimum required to question potential for additional upside.