Torm Stops Taking Orders in Iran Due to US Sanctions

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Brent, the global benchmark, rose as much as 1% at $79.47 per barrel around 8:30 a.m. ET.

However, EIA expects West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude oil price to average $5/barrel lower than the Brent price this year.

In China, the world's biggest oil importer, refinery runs rose almost 12 percent in April compared with the same month a year ago, to around 12.06 million barrels per day (bpd), marking the second-highest level on record on a daily basis, data showed on Tuesday.

However, the tailwinds for crude oil now vastly outnumber the headwinds, so prices will likely continue upwards in the coming days, especially in light of the escalation in Israel following the move of the USA embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem that ignited protests in Gaza, prompting an immediate military response from the IDF.

Oil prices settled higher Tuesday as uncertainties remain due to USA sanctions on Iran.

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Greater GDP growth has the potential to increase oil consumption beyond forecasted levels, which could put upward pressure on crude oil prices, and simultaneously drive systemic market movements in equities, bonds, and other commodities, which are often correlated with movements in crude oil prices.

OPEC figures published on Monday showed that oil inventories in OECD industrialised nations in March fell to 9 million barrels above the five-year average, down from 340 million barrels above the average in January 2017.

OPEC's success with the oil production cutting deal has been to a significant extent aided by Venezuela's catastrophically dropping production as the country grapples with foreign exchange shortage, USA sanctions, and a devastating economic crisis.

Analysts project that oil exports from Iran could be reduced by about 0.5 million barrels a day as South Korea and Japan trim their imports, said analysts for J.P. Morgan in a recent report.

The United States last week withdrew from an worldwide nuclear accord with Iran and announced renewed sanctions against the country. Although the group said its crude output inched up in the previous month, investors interpreted the minimal increase as a sign of OPEC's continued commitment to rebalancing the market, especially from its de facto leader Saudi Arabia. Concerns over the impact of United States re-sanctioning on Iran apart from other factors like economic crisis in Venezuela are keeping the oil prices high.

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