Oil prices extended early losses on Monday, with U.S. crude dropping below $69 a barrel, after Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin said some crude importers may receive waivers to continue buying supplies from Iran, despite U.S. sanctions on the Middle Eastern country.
“We want people to reduce oil purchases to zero, but in certain cases if people can’t do that overnight, we’ll consider exceptions,” Mnuchin told reporters on Friday while traveling to Mexico, Reuters reported. The comments were under embargo until Monday morning.
Mnuchin told the reporters the Trump administration wants to avoid roiling global oil markets as it seeks to pressure Iran to make concessions on its nuclear program, ballistic missile tests and its role in regional conflicts. President Donald Trump withdrew the United States from the 2015 Iran nuclear deal and restored sanctions on Tehran in May.
U.S. West Texas Intermediate crude oil prices fell $2.70, or 3.8 percent, to $68.31 by 11:01 a.m. ET (1501 GMT). WTI has fallen for two weeks in a row, dropping from a 3½-year high above $75 a barrel.
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