Oil prices were lower today as traders continued to respond to President Donald Trump’s softer line on sanctions against Iran.
, the benchmark used in many international contracts, lost 0.28% in morning trading in London to $70.45 a barrel, while was 0.56% lower at $60.33 a barrel.
Other factors weighing on the oil price were increased shale oil production in the United States, trade tension between the US and China, fears of a marked slowdown in global growth and movements in the, the currency in which oil is priced.
Iranian nuclear deal repudiated
Just weeks ago, there was talk of oil hitting $100 a barrel, but the trend over the past month has been downwards. Brent stood at $85 on 9 October, while WTI traded at $74.96. But this in turn reversed what had been a pattern of rises – on 9 August, Brent cost $72.07 and WTI $66.81.
Looking at the picture for the last 12 months, and oil can be seen to have hung on to some gains. On 9 November last year, Brent stood at $63.93 and WTI at $57.17.
The immediate cause of oil-price weakening was the back-pedalling by President Trump on Iranian sanctions. His repudiation of the nuclear deal with Tehran has split the US from its European allies and raised the prospect of the European Union setting up a parallel payments system allowing Europe to continue buying Iranian oil without going through the US banking system.