Sup­ply fears as oil prices hit $80 a bar­rel

The Star Late Edition - - BUSINESS REPORT -

OIL PRICES hit $80 a bar­rel yes­ter­day for the first time since Novem­ber 2014 on con­cerns that Ira­nian ex­ports could fall due to re­newed US sanc­tions and re­duced sup­ply in an al­ready tight­en­ing mar­ket. Brent crude fu­tures reached an in­tra-day high of $80.18, up 58 cents at $79.86, as of 1110 GMT. US West Texas In­ter­me­di­ate (WTI) crude fu­tures were up 57 cents at $72.06 a bar­rel, also their high­est since 2014. Pres­i­dent Don­ald Trump’s de­ci­sion this month to with­draw the US from an in­ter­na­tional nu­clear deal with Iran and re­vive sanc­tions that could limit crude ex­ports from Opec’s third-largest pro­ducer has given strong tail­wind to oil prices. France’s To­tal on Wed­nes­day warned that it might aban­don a multi­bil­lion-dol­lar gas project in Iran if it could not se­cure a waiver from US sanc­tions, cast­ing fur­ther doubt on European-led efforts to sal­vage the nu­clear deal.

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