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Crude Oil Extends Gains, Iran Threatens to Close Major Oil Chokepoint

Crude Oil Extends Gains, Iran Threatens to Close Major Oil Chokepoint

2019-04-23 08:00:00
Justin McQueen, Analyst
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Oil Price Analysis and News

  • US to End Iranian Oil Waivers, Crude Oil Surges
  • OPEC Deal Extension in Doubt

US to End Iranian Oil Waivers, Crude Oil Surges

Yesterday saw a somewhat surprising announcement by the US to end all waivers on imports of Iranian oil, which in turn saw crude oil futures surge to fresh 6-month highs with WTI topping $65/bbl and Brent crude above $74/bbl amid fears of a potential supply crunch. Alongside this, tensions between the US and Iran are set to rise as a result with Iran already threatening to close the world’s most important oil chokepoint, the Strait of Hormuz, which sees 20% of the world’s oil flow through. If indeed the Strait of Hormuz were to be closed, this could take oil prices to unprecedented levels.

OPEC Deal Extension in Doubt

In response to the announcement by the US, Saudi Arabia stated that they would ensure that the oil market is well balanced and stable, suggesting that they would make up for the shortfall in supply if oil prices continue to spike higher. Given that Saudi Arabia are producing around 9.9mbpd, they have enough spare capacity to offset the expected decline in Iranian exports, which in turn will make it difficult to argue an extension to the current OPEC deal and could potentially limit gains in the longer run. As a reminder, under the OPEC deal, Saudi Arabia had a target of 10.3mbpd.

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With the break above the 61.8% Fib level, eyes are on for a test of the $78 handle as rising geopolitical tensions continues to underpin oil prices. Initial resistance resides at the psychological $75/bbl mark.

Oil Impact on FX

Net Oil Importers: These countries tend to be worse off when the price of oil rises. This includes, KRW, ZAR, INR, TRY, EUR, CNY, IDR, JPY

Net Oil Exporters: These counties tend to benefit when the price of oil rises. This includes RUB, CAD, MXN, NOK.

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--- Written by Justin McQueen, Market Analyst

To contact Justin, email him at Justin.mcqueen@ig.com

Follow Justin on Twitter @JMcQueenFX

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