Crude oil jumped almost 3% on Monday after the United States said it will take more steps to choke off Iranian oil exports, while U.S. equities were mixed as Wall Street braced for corporate results in a busy earnings week.
The dollar eased against a basket of currencies in thin holiday-impacted trading as gold held above a near four-month low on support from the weaker greenback, Reuters said.
The United States said it will eliminate all waivers that allowed eight countries to buy Iranian oil without facing U.S. sanctions, demanding that the purchases of Iranian oil stop by May 1.
The announcement sent oil prices to 2019 highs.Brent crude, the global benchmark, rose as much as 3.5% a barrel and settled at $74.04 a barrel, up $2.07. U.S. West Texas Intermediate crude rose $1.70 to settle at $65.70 after rising as much as 3% during the session.
Another drop in Iranian exports would further squeeze supply in a market already tightened through U.S. sanctions against Iran and fellow OPEC member Venezuela, along with voluntary cuts led by the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries.
"This does bring a lot more uncertainty in terms of global supplies," said Olivier Jakob, analyst at Petromatrix. "It is a bullish surprise for the market."
Major financial markets in Europe were closed for Easter Monday, as were markets in Australia and Hong Kong.