Oil prices steadied just below four-year highs on Friday as U.S. sanctions curbed Iran’s exports, tightening global crude supply. “The market mood is exceptionally bullish, with fears growing that the U.S. demands for an Iran oil embargo could cause a significant supply shortfall,” said Norbert Rucker, head of macro and commodity research at Julius Baer. Both benchmarks retreated on Thursday following a rise in U.S. oil inventories and after Saudi Arabia and Russia said they would raise output to at least partly make up for expected disruptions from Iran, OPEC’s third-largest producer. Click read more below for additional detail.
Oil prices fell on Tuesday as Washington’s blacklisting of more Chinese companies dampened hopes for a trade deal between the two countries, though unrest in Iraq and Ecuador lent some support to crude prices.
Investors are treading cautiously before U.S.-China trade talks that take place in Washington on Thursday, although prospects for progress dimmed after Washington blacklisted more Chinese firms and President Donald Trump said a quick trade deal was unlikely.