Turkey, Russia to Discuss US Withdrawal from Iran Nuclear Deal

A view of the back of Donald Trump standing with his arms outstretched facing dozens of reporters

Oil LCOc1 reached $78 a barrel on Thursday, its highest since November 2014, two days after President Donald Trump said the United States was abandoning an global nuclear deal with Iran and would impose new sanctions.

The analysts said their target price for Brent, the global benchmark, was $90 for the second quarter of next year. Investors are now weighing signals from OPEC and its allies to see whether they will end a deal to cut production aimed at shrinking a glut, or seek an extension to further prop up prices.

Despite the prospect of OPEC stepping in to take up the slack caused by Iran, U.S. investment bank Jeffries stated in a note, "Even if physical supply is held constant. the market will still be faced with a precariously low level of spare capacity".

Oil prices shot up to a one-year high on Thursday as traders prepared for possible renewed United States sanctions against Iran, and the gap between supply and demand in the market narrowed down.

White House national security adviser John Bolton said USA sanctions on European companies that maintain business dealings with Iran were "possible", while Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said he remained hopeful Washington and its allies could strike a new nuclear deal with Tehran.

"China is the largest commodity producer in the world and the largest commodity consumer in the world, so it would make sense that Chinese futures that are close to the areas of supply and demand would be a more natural benchmark than the USA markets", said Marwan Younes, founder and chief investment officer of Massar Capital Management in NY.

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Last week, July WTI crude oil settled at $70.68, up $1.10 or +1.58% and July Brent crude oil finished at $77.12, up $2.25 or +3.01%.

Israel and Iran engaged in an extensive military exchange on the heels of Trump's decision to leave the deal.

The main goal of the supply deal was to reduce excess oil stocks to the five-year average.

"President Trump has already stepped up pressure on OPEC to end supply cuts due to higher USA gasoline prices looming", Citi analysts said.

In China, the biggest single buyer of Iranian oil, Shanghai crude futures hit their strongest in dollar terms since they were launched in late May, around $73.20 per barrel.

Oil prices have climbed to a three-year high as the market prepares for Iranian exports to fall.

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