May 7, 2018

Oil markets brace for Trump’s Iran deal decision

Ben Geman, author of Generate

An oil tanker in the Strait of Homuz, off the coast of Iran. Photo: Kaveh Kazemi/Getty Images

Trump faces a May 12 deadline to decide whether to continue waiving sanctions against Iran or reimpose them. Markets think it will be the latter as prices rose in trading Monday to their highest levels in well over three years.

Why it matters: Walking away from the Iran deal and reimposing sanctions would lower volumes of Iranian crude in international markets.

  • WTI, the U.S. benchmark, climbed above the $70-per-barrel level and Brent crude is trading at well above $75.
  • "[W]e think that it is highly likely that President Trump will exercise the exit option despite the recent best efforts of European leaders to fix the nuclear deal," analysts from RBC Capital Markets said in a note.
  • Projections vary widely — common estimates range from around 200,000 barrels per day to 1 million — and a lot depends on the details of Trump's decision on the complicated deal, and the speed and scope of European buyers' response.
  • But any move to reimpose penalties would likely push prices higher in a market where global stockpiles are at their lowest levels in years and other geopolitical tensions abound.

Go deeper: At the Center for Strategic and International Studies, Frank Verrastro and Kevin Book look at Trump's options and how they could affect crude flows.

Go deeper

Updated 29 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Biden: George Floyd's last words are "a wake-up call for our nation"

Former Vice President Joe Biden meets with clergy members and community activists during a visit to Bethel AME Church in Wilmington, Del. on June 1, 2020. Photo: JIM WATSON/AFP via Getty Images

Vice President Joe Biden is calling George Floyd’s dying words “a wake-up call for our nation,” and criticized President Trump’s decision to unleash tear gas on peaceful protesters outside the White House, in a civil rights speech from Philadelphia on Tuesday.

Why it matters: Biden in the address drew a sharp contrast between himself and Trump, whose first remarks addressing nationwide unrest Monday highlighted law and order, extreme demonstrations of militarized “strength” and other blustery threats.

Updated 37 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 11 a.m. ET: 6,302,318 — Total deaths: 376,322 — Total recoveries — 2,716,924Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 11 a.m. ET: 1,812,125 — Total deaths: 105,192 — Total recoveries: 458,231 — Total tested: 17,340,682Map.
  3. Public health: Protests against police brutality threaten coronavirus response.
  4. Business: Coronavirus could lower GDP by $15.7 trillion — More than 1 in 6 black workers lost jobs between February and April.
  5. Climate: The alarm over climate financial risk gets louder because of coronavirus.
  6. Media: Interest in the George Floyd protests has soared past the coronavirus.

The business of tear gas

Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

U.S. forces yesterday used tear gas on peaceful protesters outside the White House gates, prior to a declared curfew, clearing a path for President Trump to visit a riot-damaged church for a photo opportunity.

The state of play: Two of the largest U.S. producers of tear gas are owned by private equity firms, but those firms have no interest in discussing their ownership.