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Oil Futures End Sharply Higher As U.S. Ends Waivers On Iran Oil Imports

Crude oil prices rose sharply on Monday after the U.S. decided to end the waivers it had offered to major importers of Iranian oil in November last year.

U.S. President Donald Trump's tweet that output from Saudi Arabia and other OPEC members will "more than make up the oil flow difference in our Full Sanctions on Iranian Oil" failed to any significantly halt oil's rise today.

West Texas Intermediate Crude oil futures soared to $65.91 a barrel at one stage, gaining more than 3%, before cooling a bit and eventually settling at $65.70 on the expiration day, up $1.70, or 2.66% from previous close.

On Thursday, crude oil futures for May ended up $0.24, or 0.45%, at $64.00 a barrel.

Crude oil futures for June delivery ended up $1.48, or 2.3%, at $65.55 a barrel.

In November 2018, the Trump administration had granted six-month waivers to major importers of Iranian oil, including India, China, Turkey, Japan and South Korea.

The U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo announced today that the country will not extend waivers to buy Iranian crude oil for five countries Turkey, India, China, South Korea and Japan when those waivers expire early next month.

Pompeo tweeted : "Maximum pressure on the Iranian regime means maximum pressure. That's why the U.S. will not issue any exceptions to Iranian oil importers. The global oil market remains well-supplied. We're confident it will remain stable as jurisdictions transition away from Iranian crude."

Following U.S.'s decision, Iran has threatened that it will shut the Strait of Hormuz, a key chokepoint for Persian Gulf crude producers, according to a report in Bloomberg.

Sanctions on Venezuela, supply disruptions in Libya, last week's report showing an unexpected drop in U.S. crude inventories and the drop in U.S. oil rigs count too supported oil's rise.

Recent encouraging data out of China that showed the world's second largest economy is recovering gradually, has eased concerns about global growth and energy demand.

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