Oil prices fell on Wednesday, with Brent dropping by more than $1, after the United States said it would consider requests for waivers from sanctions due to snap back into place on Iranian crude exports.
Brent crude futures LCOc1 were down $1.10, or 1.4 percent, at $77.76 a barrel by 0112 GMT. U.S. crude CLc1 was down 68 cents, or 0.9 percent, at $73.43.
Both contracts had posted gains earlier in the previous session after industry data showed inventories fell more than expected last week in the United States.
Washington will consider requests from some countries to be exempted from sanctions it will put into effect in November to prevent Iran from exporting oil, U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said on Tuesday.
“There will be a handful of countries that come to the United States and ask for relief from that. We’ll consider it,” Pompeo said, according to the text of an interview in Abu Dhabi with Sky News Arabia released by the U.S. State Department. He did not identify any countries.
Washington had earlier told countries they must halt all imports of Iranian oil from Nov. 4 or face U.S. financial measures, with no exemptions.
The U.S. pulled out of a multinational deal in May to lift sanctions against Iran in return for curbs to its nuclear program.
Later on Tuesday, after arriving in Brussels for a NATO summit, Pompeo stressed the need to keep up pressure on Iran in coordination with allies. He also planned to reassure allies about alternative oil supplies.
Efforts by the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) and other producers have led to a tighter oil market after a persistent glut.
With the impending sanctions on OPEC member Iran and supply disruptions from Canada to Libya, prices have risen and sparked fears of shortages, amid rising demand.
U.S. crude inventories fell last week by 6.8 million barrels, according to data from industry group, the American Petroleum Institute.
That decline was larger than expected, causing crude futures to gain in post-settlement trading. [API/S]
Analysts polled by Reuters forecast that crude stocks fell on average by 4.5 million barrels, ahead of government data at 10:30 a.m. EDT (1430 GMT) on Wednesday. [EIA/S]
Reporting by Aaron Sheldrick; Editing by Joseph Radford
Record plunge in manufacturing for New York region: NY Fed
Manufacturing activity in New York State took a record dive this month and fell into contraction, suddenly reversing recent gains, the Federal Reserve Bank of New York reported Monday.
The surprising drop was another worrying sign for the US manufacturing sector, a day ahead of the start of a Federal Reserve meeting that comes as markets clamor for signs the central bank will cut interest rates soon to preserve economic growth.
Manufacturing has been a weak spot for the American economy this year as global demand slows and President Donald Trump pursues a multi-front trade war with some of America's largest trading partners.
Egypt’s ousted President Mohammed Morsi collapses and dies in court, state TV says
Mohammed Morsi, the former Egyptian president who was ousted by the military in 2013, has died after collapsing in court, state TV said on Monday.
Egypt's public broadcaster said the 67-year-old former president was attending a session in his trial on espionage charges when he blacked out and then died. His body was taken to a hospital, it said.
Morsi, who hailed from Egypt's largest Islamist group, the now outlawed Muslim Brotherhood, was elected president in 2012 in the country's first free elections following the ouster the year before of longtime leader Hosni Mubarak.
NBC SCOTUS reporter Pete Williams: ‘I don’t know what the Court wins’ in anti-gay Sweetcakes case ‘except time’
NBC News' Pete Williams has won three national news Emmy awards. He has a reputation for offering very factual reports with little to no personal opinion. Williams for decades has primarily covered the U.S. Supreme Court and Justice Department.Monday morning on MSNBC Williams gave his report on the Supreme Court's order in the "Sweetcakes" case, involving an Oregon Christian couple who refused to bake a wedding cake for a same-sex couple. The case is exceptionally more complicated than that – including alleged doxxing of the same-sex couple and the subsequent death threats they say they received.The U.S. Supreme Court set aside the $135,000 the anti-gay bakers, Melissa and Aaron Klein of Sweetcakes by Melissa, were ordered to pay to the same-sex couples they refused, and told the lower court to re-examine the case in light of the SCOTUS ruling in favor of Colorado anti-gay Christian baker Jack Phillips – which the court had originally made clear applied only to the Phillips case. The Court ruled Phillips was the victim of anti-religious animus by the state.Now, Pete Williams appears to be wondering about the Supreme Court's order, sending the case back to a lower court for review.Asked what today's decision means, Williams responds, "I'm not sure," then delivered his report."So today the Supreme Court sent this Oregon case back with instructions to reconsider in light of the Colorado case, but none of the infirmities that existed in the Colorado case are present in the Oregon case, so I'm not exactly sure what the Oregon courts are going to conclude from this," Williams told viewers."My guess is that if the state sues again, and it probably will, the Oregon courts will rule the same way and the case will come back here," meaning to the Supreme Court."I don't know what the [Supreme] Court gains here other than perhaps time, and letting other cases like this percolate up," Williams said.Exactly.It would appear the Supreme Court is attempting to lay the groundwork for special religious rights that would supersede the rights of LGBTQ people to not be discriminated against.It would appear Williams might agree.Watch: