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Oil prices jump in anticipation to end US exemptions from Iran sanctions

BAGHDAD, Oil prices jumped on Monday after the United States appeared to announce that all Iranian oil buyers were obliged to end their imports or be subject to sanctions.

Brent crude futures rose 3.3 percent to $ 74.31 a barrel, its highest level since November 1, before falling to $ 73.63 a barrel by 0604 GMT, up 2.3 percent from the last close.

US West Texas Intermediate crude futures rose 2.9 percent to $ 65.87 a barrel, its highest since October 31. By 0544 GMT, the price was $ 65.50 a barrel, up 2.3 percent from the previous settlement.

The United States was preparing to announce on Monday that current buyers of Iranian oil would not receive further exemptions from sanctions, the Washington Post reported on Sunday.

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo will announce that as of May 2, the State Department will not grant further sanctions exemptions to any country that imports crude or condensates from Iran, a newspaper columnist said, citing unnamed US State Department officials.

The suspension of the exemptions will reduce oil supplies in a market already experiencing shortages due to US sanctions on Iran and Venezuela, another OPEC member.

OPEC and other international oil producers have also been cutting supplies since the beginning of the year to reduce supply to world oil markets and boost prices.

As a result, Brent prices rose more than a third this year, while West Texas Intermediate rose more than 40 percent in the same period.

Source: National Iraqi News Agency

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