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Oil Prices Dip Despite Trump's Latest Iran Sanctions

Oil prices edged lower on Wednesday despite the latest U.S. move to end waiver on sanction against importers of Iranian oil.

Benchmark Brent crude slid 0.2 percent to $74.39 per barrel, while U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures were down half a percent at $65.97 per barrel.

The Trump administration said Monday that it would start imposing sanctions on a handful of countries, including key U.S. allies, unless they stop buying oil from Iran after waivers expire next month.

Back in November, the U.S. placed new sanctions against oil exporter Iran, but allowed eight countries to continue importing oil from Iran for another half-year as an adjustment period.

The latest sanctions announcement took many market participants by surprise, as it would lead to a significant tightening of the oil market.

However, the International Energy Agency (IEA) said in a statement on Tuesday that markets are "adequately supplied" and that "global spare production capacity remains at comfortable levels," thanks to ample spare capacity from the Middle East dominated Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC), Russian and also the United States.

Data showing a build in crude inventories also weighed on the commodity. U.S. crude oil inventories rose by 6.9 million barrels in the week to April 19 to 459.6 million, data from industry group the American Petroleum Institute showed on Tuesday.

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