Nov 5, 2018

Oil sanctions take effect as Iran condemns "economic war"

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani. Photo: Luiz Rampelotto/NurPhoto via Getty Images

Oil sanctions stemming from President Trump's withdrawal from the Iran nuclear deal officially went into effect Sunday at midnight, triggering immediate condemnation from Iranian President Hassan Rouhani, who pledged to continue exporting oil in defiance of the Trump administration's "economic war," reports the AP.

The big picture: Prices this morning show Brent barely moving off prices that have tumbled sharply in recent weeks, trading at $73.11. This reflects how the reductions in Iranian exports have been ongoing and are largely priced into the market. Traders are also responding to today's announcement that the U.S will grant temporary waivers to 8 "jurisdictions" — China, India, Italy, Greece, Japan, South Korea, Taiwan and Turkey — that buy Iranian oil but, according to the State Department, have moved to curb imports.

What they're saying: “The impact of the sanctions is going to be largely softened as a result of this allowance,” Surfeit Vijayakar of the energy consultancy Trisect tells Reuters.

  • In addition, bearish forces like potentially softening demand growth and U.S.-China trade tensions are affecting the price (we looked more deeply at the state of the market in Friday's edition).

What's next: Iranian exports have fallen by about a million barrels per day in the run-up to the formal reimposition. The consultancy Wood Mackenzie, in a note Monday morning, said that even though some other producers have stepped up production, the market could get a lot tighter in coming months as sanctions continue driving down exports.

  • “We think there’s just enough growth in supply from elsewhere to muddle through the next few months, meet winter demand and avert a price spike," said WoodMac's Ann-Louise Hittle.
  • She notes that OPEC's spare capacity that can be brought online within 30 days is only about 700,000 barrels per day. “That means the market is vulnerable to strong demand in a cold winter or any new supply outage," she said.

What to watch: In a joint statement, the European Union, France, Germany and Britain — who are seeking to maintain trade ties with Iran — said they "deeply regret" the reimposition of sanctions by the United States. Europe will not receive exemptions, and could look to establish a special payments system with Russia and China if the Trump administration sanctions SWIFT, the financial channel Iran uses to get paid for oil exports.

  • Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin wrote in a Financial Times op-ed that foreign financial institutions that "knowingly engage" in "certain significant transactions" with Iran will be subject to sanctions.

Go deeper: Trump administration blinks on "zero" oil exports from Iran

Go deeper

Updates: George Floyd protests enter 12th day

Protesters in Washington, D.C. on June 6. Photo: Samuel Corum/Getty Images

Tens of thousands of demonstrators are rallying in cities across the U.S. and around the world to protest the killing of George Floyd. Huge crowds have assembled in Washington, D.C., Philadelphia and Chicago for full-day events.

Why it matters: Twelve days of nationwide protest in the U.S. has built pressure for states to make new changes on what kind of force law enforcement can use on civilians and prompted officials to review police conduct.

Updated 3 hours ago - World

In photos: People around the world rally against racism

Despite a ban on large gatherings implemented in response to the coronavirus pandemic, protesters rally against racism in front of the American Embassy in Paris on June 6. Photo: Julien Mattia/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

Tens of thousands of people have continued to rally in cities across the world against racism and show their support this week for U.S. demonstrators protesting the death in police custody of George Floyd.

Why it matters: The tense situation in the U.S. has brought the discussion of racism and discrimination onto the global stage at a time when most of the world is consumed by the novel coronavirus.

Updated 4 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 7:30 p.m. ET: 6,852,810 — Total deaths: 398,211 — Total recoveries — 3,071,142Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 7:30 p.m. ET: 1,917,080 — Total deaths: 109,702 — Total recoveries: 500,849 — Total tested: 19,778,873Map.
  3. Public health: Why the pandemic is hitting minorities harder — Coronavirus curve rises in FloridaHow racism threatens the response to the pandemic Some people are drinking and inhaling cleaning products in attempt to fight the virus.
  4. Tech: The pandemic is accelerating next-generation disease diagnostics — Robotics looks to copy software-as-a-service model.
  5. Business: Budgets busted by coronavirus make it harder for cities to address inequality Sports, film production in California to resume June 12 after 3-month hiatus.
  6. Education: Students and teachers flunked remote learning.