Trump administration split amid India, China resistance to Iran sanctions

Tehran's oil refinery supervisor Jafar Jaleh Rafati works at a unit of the refinery south of the capital Tehran Iran Monday Dec. 22 2014

Commodities such as crude have been upset by substantial losses in global equities due to concern over corporate earnings, and fears over the impact to economic growth from escalating trade tensions.

Front-month Brent crude oil futures were trading down 39 cents, or 0.5 percent, at $77.23 a barrel at 0616 GMT.

The plan of supplying crude oil in stock market has frequently been raised in the past years but it doomed to failure.

U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures were firmer, however, at $67.16 a barrel, up 12 from their last settlement.

Losses were limited ahead of USA sanctions on Iranian exports that are expected to reduce supplies when they go into effect this coming Sunday.

Oil is also under pressure from rising output by the world's biggest producers - Russia, the United States and Saudi Arabia - who are helping to replenish global oil inventories after more than a year of stock draws.

This means Iran can not count on higher prices and more oil revenues to offset declining exports.

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"Saudi Arabia's production has reached 10.7 million barrels per day this month and we could increase production to 12 million barrels per day".

Analysts expect the situation to only worsen on November 4 when sanctions kick in directly targeting countries that buy Iranian oil by blocking them from access to US markets and financial institutions.

Crude oil futures fell Monday as investors reduced exposure, extending weakness that started a week ago amid increased investor caution in anticipation of a possible economic slowdown, an increase in oil production and a stronger dollar that could make oil more expensive in other currencies.

"Oil prices are now trending downward, falling for a third consecutive week as global stock markets tumbled and oil markets focused on a weaker demand outlook for crude going forward". Saudi Arabia and Russian Federation have said they will pump enough to meet demand once USA sanctions are imposed. Moreover, the fallout for Iran remains clear.

Iran wants to get the private sector's help to export oil to global markets as U.S. is preparing to implement oil sanctions on the country on November 4, expected to halve its 2.1 mb/d crude oil exports in 2017 in the first step and zero exports over an 18-month period. Iran's economy was already sputtering before Trump's announcement in May that he meant to pull out of the 2015 nuclear accord, but since then the situation has intensified.

An exchange shop displays rates for various currencies, in downtown Tehran, October 2, 2018.

So far, Iranian officials have been planning measures to supply essential commodities such as bread, rice, sugar and meat to the low-income strata of society when sanctions begin to bite harder, which is after November 5.

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