By Henning Gloystein
SINGAPORE (Reuters) – Oil prices slipped on Monday as the start of U.S. sanctions against Iran’s fuel exports was softened by waivers allowing major buyers to still import Iranian crude, while Tehran said it would ignore Washington and continue to sell.
Front-month Brent crude futures (LCOc1) were at $72.66 per barrel at 0740 GMT on Monday, down 17 cents, or 0.2 percent from their last close.
U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures (CLc1) were down 30 cents, or 0.5 percent, at $62.84 a barrel.
Both Brent and WTI have lost more than 15 percent in value since early October, in part as hedge funds have cut their bullish wagers on crude to a one-year low, data showed on Friday.
Washington re-introduced sanctions against Iran on Monday, restoring measures lifted under a 2015 nuclear deal negotiated by the administration of President Barack Obama, and adding 300 new designations including Iran’s oil, shipping, insurance and banking sectors.
In response, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani said in speech broadcast on state TV on Monday that Iran will break U.S. sanctions and continue to sell oil.
Washington has granted some exemptions. The United States said on Friday it will temporarily allow eight importers to keep buying Iranian oil.