Oil Market Confounded Again as Trump Surprises on Iran Sanctions

(Bloomberg) -- The oil market just can’t seem to figure out Donald Trump’s Iran policy.

Crude prices in London hit their highest in half a year Monday after the president surprised investors by announcing the end of waivers that let some countries buy Iranian crude, following weeks of speculation the waivers might be at least partially extended. That followed a 40 percent drop late last year that began after leaks first surfaced that Trump might allow some countries to be exempted in the first place.

Chalk it up to tensions between Trump team hardliners who want to boost pressure on Iran and those concerned about political fallout from high gasoline prices, all led by a president who’s unpredictable on the best of days.

“It’s almost like this administration likes to kick over the anthill and watch everyone scurry around," said Michael Lynch, president of Strategic Energy & Economic Research in Winchester, Massachusetts. “They are difficult to read, and you’ve maybe gotten a certain amount of wishful thinking from people in the market."

Oil Market Confounded Again as Trump Surprises on Iran Sanctions

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