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Oil steadies as US sanctions on Iran begin, Tehran defiant

"We are not getting the price rally that many participants thought they were going to get out of the Iran…

“We are not getting the price rally that many participants thought they were going to get out of the Iran sanctions situation,” Yawger said.

Brent crude oil was up 34 cents, or half a percent at $ 73.17 a barrel at 2:30 pm ET. U.S. light crude ended Monday’s session 4 cents lower at $ 63.10 a barrel.

Both oil benchmarks have slid more than $ 13 a barrel since hitting four-year highs in early October. Hedge funds have cut bullish bets on crude to a one-year low.

The United States has granted exemptions to eight countries – China, India, Greece, Italy, Taiwan, Japan, Turkey and South Korea – allowing them to temporarily continue buying Iranian oil, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said on Monday. Some of these are OPEC member Iran’s top customers.

U.S.

Pompeo said more than 20 countries have already cut oil imports from Iran, reducing purchases by more than 1

million barrels per day.

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