Oil fell near $70 a barrel as investors await President Donald Trump's decision Tuesday on whether the U.S. will exit the Iran nuclear deal.
Futures in New York declined as much as 1.1 percent after climbing 1.5 percent Monday to top $70 for the first time since November 2014. Trump said in a tweet that he will announce the Iranian decision Tuesday at 2 p.m. in Washington, ahead of a May 12 deadline. While European allies urged Trump to maintain the accord, some analysts expect the U.S. will leave the nuclear agreement, which eased sanctions on OPEC’s third-largest producer.
Oil has rallied this month on speculation Trump may reimpose sanctions on Iran and curb crude exports from the Middle East nation. Meanwhile, Saudi Arabia signaled they want to maintain production cuts by the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries even after the cartel all but eliminated surplus inventories and prices reached a three-year high.
West Texas Intermediate oil for June delivery dropped as much as 80 cents to $69.93 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange and traded at $70.04 at 9:03 a.m. in Tokyo. The contract climbed $1.01 to $70.73 on Monday. Total volume traded was about 50 percent below the 100-day average.
Brent for July settlement fell 57 cents to $75.60 on the London-based ICE Futures Europe exchange. Prices on Monday climbed 1.7 percent to $76.17. The global benchmark crude traded at a $5.62 premium to July WTI.