Oil Prices Hit Highest in Years as Markets Adjust to Looming Sanctions on Iran

(From Reuters)

Oil prices clocked up more multi-year highs on Thursday as traders adjusted to the prospects of renewed U.S. sanctions against major crude exporter Iran amid an already tightening market.

The United States plans to impose new sanctions against Iran, which produces around 4 percent of global oil supplies, after abandoning an agreement reached in late 2015 which limited Tehran’s nuclear ambitions in exchange for removing U.S.-Europe sanctions.

Oil prices rose sharply in response to the announced measures.

Brent crude futures, the international benchmark for oil prices, hit their strongest since November 2014, at $77.89 per barrel shortly before 0700 GMT on Thursday, up 0.9 percent from their last close.

U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures also marked a November-2014 high, at $71.84 a barrel, before edging back to $71.78 per barrel. That was-still 0.9 percent above their last settlement.

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