2. Oil markets' roller coaster to nowhere
Yesterday brought fresh evidence that oil markets aren't massively spooked by the Iran crisis, especially now that things appear to be cooling off.
Driving the news: Brent crude oil prices fell below the levels they were trading at before the U.S. airstrike last week that killed Iranian Gen. Qasem Soleimani.
What's next: Who knows, but a Eurasia Group note yesterday argues the most likely of several scenarios now is de-escalation. One aspect would be "Iran will continue to harass commercial shipping and oil infrastructure at a low level."
- "Even with the receding threat of US/Iran conflict, a broad host of supply and demand factors, coupled with some [the Middle East and North Africa] geopolitical risk premium, means that Brent oil prices will now be in the USD 65-75 range," they predict.
Where it stands: Brent crude was trading at $65.46 as we sent this newsletter.
Reminder: Axios' Amy Harder looked more deeply at this dynamic in a piece yesterday, and chatted about oil markets and the Iran crisis on the Axios Pro Rata podcast.
Go deeper: Five reasons oil prices failed to soar on US-Iran tensions (Financial Times)
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Speaking of oil, Bloomberg fact-checks President Trump, noting that while U.S. crude oil imports from the Persian Gulf are at a 30-year low, Trump nonetheless mischaracterized the state of play.
"President Donald Trump said during an address from the White House Wednesday that the U.S. no longer needs oil from the Middle East, but American refineries still use the kind of oil that region produces," they report.