Oil boils over $70 a barrel

Oil boils over $70 a barrel
Published: 07 May 2018
US oil rose above $70 a barrel for the first time since November 2014 as traders braced for a re-imposition of US sanctions on Middle East crude producer Iran.

Futures in New York and London jumped as much as 1.4%. While President Donald Trump has threatened he'll pull out of a deal between Iran and world powers as a May 12 deadline nears, he's signaled he'll be open to negotiation.

The 2015 accord eased sanctions on OPEC's third-largest member in exchange for curbs on its nuclear programme, and renewed American measures may stifle the Middle East nation's crude exports.

Iran has come out against higher prices, after a rally of over 12% this year on output cuts by the Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries and its allies as well as rising geopolitical risks in the Middle East.

Crude at $60 to $65 a barrel is "suitable", an official from the OPEC producer said on Sunday, signaling a split with fellow group member Saudi Arabia that's said to be aiming for $80 oil. The cartel will meet next month in Vienna.

"Fresh sanctions, which would remove some of Iran's crude supplies from the global market, will tighten the balance between demand and supply and support crude prices," Takayuki Nogami, chief economist at state-backed Japan Oil, Gas & Metals National Corp, said by phone from Tokyo. "While there could be profit-taking given cu