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Oil prices surge after U.S. tightens sanctions

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Oil prices surge after U.S. tightens sanctions

Oil prices surge after U.S. tightens sanctions

Oil prices rose to fresh six-month highs on Tuesday following the U.S. decision to tighten sanctions on Iran.

Julian Satterthwaite reports.

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Oil prices surge after U.S. tightens sanctions

Oil prices rose again Tuesday (April 23), hitting fresh six-month highs after the U.S. tightened sanctions on Iran.

International benchmark Brent crude up above 74 dollars in early trade.

A day earlier Washigton had said it was ending all waivers for countries buying Iranian oil.

(SOUNDBITE) (English) U.S. SECRETARY OF STATE MIKE POMPEO, SAYING: "We are going to zero.

How long we remain there at zero depends solely on the Islamic Republic of Iran's senior leaders." Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said all countries must stop buying Iranian crude by May 1st, or face sanctions.

Eight nations including China and South Korea had previously been allowed to keep buying.

Now the White House says it is working with Saudi Arabia and the UAE to ensure the market is adequately supplied.

But traders had already been worried about tight supplies, meaning the new move was sure to provoke a price spike.

The news had a mixed impact on stocks.

Crude producers like Shell and BP up close to two percent early Tuesday.

Shares in oil-dependent firms like airlines headed the other way though.

The overall sentiment on equity markets cautious as traders focused on signs that China could dial back on economic stimulus measures.




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