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Oil mixed as U.S. imposes sanctions on Iran, Tehran defiant

Reuters  |  NEW YORK 

By Stephanie Kelly

NEW YORK (Reuters) - prices were mixed on Monday after a steep five-day fall, as the formally imposed punitive sanctions on but granted eight countries temporary waivers allowing them to keep buying from the Islamic Republic.

The sanctions are part of U.S. Donald Trump's effort to curb Iran's missile and nuclear programs and diminish its influence in the

markets have been anticipating the sanctions for months. Prices have been under pressure as major producers, including and Russia, have ramped up output to near-record levels, while weak economic figures in have cast doubt on the demand outlook.

of waivers on the sanctions weighed on prices, analysts said.

"There are a lot of questions about the sanctions, about waivers," said Phil Flynn, at in "There's some doubt that the sanctions are going to have the bite the market originally thought."

Brent crude futures rose 34 cents to settle at $73.17 a barrel. U.S. Intermediate (WTI) crude futures fell 4 cents to settle at $63.10 a barrel.

Both have slid more than 15 percent since hitting four-year highs in early October. Hedge funds have cut bullish bets on crude to a one-year low.

The has granted exemptions to China, India, Greece, Italy, Taiwan, Japan, and South Korea, allowing them to continue buying Iranian oil temporarily, said on Monday. Some of the countries are member Iran's top customers.

Trump on Monday said he wants to impose sanctions on Iran's oil gradually, citing concerns about shocking markets and causing global price spikes.

U.S. officials have said the aim of the sanctions is eventually to stop all Iran's

Pompeo said more than 20 countries have already cut from Iran, reducing purchases by more than 1 million barrels per day.

Sanctions have already cost billions of dollars in since May, U.S. Special for told reporters on a call on Monday.

Iran said on Monday it would break the sanctions and continue to sell oil abroad.

China's foreign ministry expressed regret at the U.S. move.

Combined output from Russia, the and rose above 33 million bpd for the first time in October, up 10 million bpd since 2010, with all three pumping at or near record volumes.

The plans to boost to 4 million bpd by the end of 2020 and to 5 million bpd by 2030, it said on Sunday, from output of just over 3 million bpd.

Data from analysis firm showed Iranian crude production was broadly unchanged in October from September, with barrels still hitting the market alongside additional production from and

GRAPHIC: Russian, U.S. & Saudi (https://tmsnrt.rs/2CTwqaq)

GRAPHIC: Crude have fallen since October (https://tmsnrt.rs/2P8BZsZ)

(Reporting by in New York, Christopher Johnson in London and Henning Gloystein in Singapore; editing by and Dan Grebler)

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Tue, November 06 2018. 02:12 IST
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