Crude gains as USA says it won't re-issue Iran waivers

Asian stocks were mixed on Tuesday while oil prices soared to their highest level since October after the U.S. said it would soon impose sanctions on all buyers of Ira

US to end sanctions waivers for major Iranian oil importers

On Monday, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo will deliver the decision that no waivers from sanctions will be renewed to importers of Iranian oil, according to four people familiar with the matter. It earlier touched a high of $65.87, a level not seen since late October.

U.S. West Texas Intermediate crude futures rose $1.30, or 2%, to $65.30 per barrel, after hitting $65.87, its highest level since October 31, 2018.

Those five countries include allies like Japan, South Korea, India, and Turkey, as well as China.

"The Trump administration and our allies are determined to sustain and expand the maximum economic pressure campaign against Iran to end the regime's destabilizing activity threatening the United States, our partners and allies and security in the Middle East", the White House said in announcing its move.

Asian stocks were mixed on Tuesday while oil prices soared to their highest level since October after the U.S. said it would soon impose sanctions on all buyers of I
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It was not immediately clear if any of the five would be given additional time to wind down their purchases or if they would be subject to USA sanctions on May 3 if they do not immediately halt imports of Iranian oil.

Turkey - one of the purchasers of Iranian oil, which had thus far enjoyed an exemption from the United States sanctions - was clearly frustrated over the White House decision not to extend the waivers beyond May 2.

Iraq received a separate waiver that would allow it to continue importing Iranian gas and electricity, crucial to stop up the widespread power shortages in Iraq.

The loss of Iranian supply, in theory, may be counterbalanced by the Saudis and the UAE - but the margin of error is lower because of disruptions in other oil producing nations.

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"Any action or entity interacting with Iran should do its due diligence and err on the side of caution", Pompeo warned, adding, "We will no longer grant exemptions".

Saudi Arabia's Energy Minister Khalid al-Falih said Riyadh was committed to "stabilizing" the oil market.

In a tweet, President Trump said: "Saudi Arabia and others in OPEC will more than make up the Oil Flow difference in our now Full Sanctions on Iranian oil".

The prospect of reduced Iranian supply brought a cautious reaction from top OPEC exporter Saudi Arabia, a key US ally and also a driving force behind the OPEC-led supply-cut deal. But the price of oil has climbed recently, as US sanctions also hit Venezuela, and the conflict in Libya makes production there volatile.

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Of the buyers of Iranian oil, Liew said India could suffer the most from Washington's move. "What everybody is going to be pointing to is Trump tightening sanctions on Iran".

"While there will be volatility in the near term, we do not think that today's announcement will structurally drive a sustained or significant spike in oil prices", Rome said. We're going to zero.

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