Oil prices decline as U.S. grants Iran sanctions waivers
Oil prices fell today as the start of U.S. sanctions against Iran's fuel exports was softened by waivers that will allow major buyers to still import Iranian crude. But Tehran said it would ignore Washington and continue to sell its oil.
Brent crude futures were at $72.47 per barrel early this morning, down 36 cents (0.5%) from their last close. US West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures were down 35 cents (0.6%) at $62.79 a barrel, RTE reported.
Both Brent and WTI have lost more than 15% in value since early October, in part as hedge funds have cut their bullish wagers on crude to a one-year low, data showed last week.
The U.S. said last week it will temporarily allow eight importers to keep buying Iranian oil. Washington has so far not named the eight. China, India, South Korea, Turkey, Italy, the United Arab Emirates and Japan have been the top importers of Iran's oil, while Taiwan occasionally buys Iranian crude.