LONDON (Reuters) – Oil prices jumped to their highest since late 2014 on Monday on a deepening economic crisis in Venezuela and worries that the Unites States could re-impose sanctions on Iran, while stocks firmed and the dollar rose towards its 2018 peak. With trade thinned by a holiday closure in London, European shares opened higher, boosted by energy stocks as well as encouraging earnings updates. Heavyweight Nestle also gained after the Swiss-based food firm agreed a tie-up with Starbucks. Most Asian markets also rose after Friday’s tame reading on U.S. wage growth lessened chances of a pick-up in the pace of interest rate hikes by the Federal Reserve. Gains were capped by Sino-U.S. trade tensions. U.S. crude oil prices rose 70 cents, or 1 percent, pushing above $70 a barrel for the first time since November 2014 as the crisis in OPEC member state Venezuela threatened to further crimp its production and exports.
Also driving oil prices higher was the May 12 deadline set by U.S. President Donald Trump for Europeans to “fix” the deal with Iran over its nuclear program. If they do not, Trump has said he would refuse to extend U.S. sanctions relief for the oil-producing Islamic Republic.
Nick Bit: If the US issues sanction they will go it alone. Meaning its another publicity stunt like steal get the headline and then let it quietly fade.