-What happened last week
U.S. President Donald Trump’s announcement of the country’s withdrawal from the historic Iran nuclear deal that was signed on July 2015 with P5+1 countries -- the U.S., the U.K., France, China, Russia plus Germany, and the European Union, was the most important development in the U.S. last week.
“We will be instituting the highest level of economic sanction,' Trump said while announcing his decision from the White House, warning Tehran that if it 'continues its nuclear aspirations it will have bigger problems than it has ever had before.”
After Trump's announcement, U.S. economic sanctions on Iran will take full effect in November, officials announced later Tuesday.
'The decision that the President signed today puts sanctions back in place that existed at the time of the deal,' National Security Advisor John Bolton said Tuesday after Trump's announcement.
'Now, what that means is that within the zone of economics covered by the sanctions, no new contracts are permitted,' he added.
The U.S. Treasury Department has given 90-day and 180-day periods for such activities to wind down before previous U.S. sanctions on Iran fully take effect.
The U.S. sanctions on Iran will come in two waves, according to a statement by the U.S. Treasury on Tuesday.
After the first period that ends on Aug. 6, the U.S. will put sanctions on the Iranian government to purchase or acquire U.S. dollars. This first wave will also include sanctions on Iran’s trade in gold and precious metals, both in direct and indirect sales, and in the supply or transfer of aluminum, steel and coal.
Sanctions will also be placed on 'significant transactions related to the purchase or sale of Iranian rials,' in addition to sanctions on Iran’s automotive sector.
The second period of sanctions will take effect from Nov. 4, after which Iran’s port operators, shipping and shipbuilding sectors will be limited.
The National Iranian Oil Company (NIOC) will also see sanctions along with petroleum-related transactions that include the purchase of petroleum, petroleum products, and petrochemical products from Iran.
Along with the impact on Iran's energy sector, sanctions will also affect transactions between foreign financial institutions and the Central Bank of Iran.
'In addition, effective Nov. 5, 2018, the U.S. government will revoke the authorization for U.S.-owned or -controlled foreign entities to wind down certain activities with the Government of Iran,' the Treasury statement said.
-Oil rises 3% a day after US pulls out of Iran deal
Crude oil prices rose more than 3 percent on Wednesday - a day after Trump said his country would withdraw from the historic nuclear deal with Iran.
International benchmark Brent crude rose 3.4 percent to as high as $74.85 per barrel on Wednesday, after closing Tuesday at $77.42 a barrel.
After ending Tuesday at $69.06 a barrel, American benchmark West Texas Intermediate climbed 3.3 percent to as much as $71.34 per barrel on Wednesday.
Although Saudi Arabia said Wednesday that it would help stabilize global oil markets in order to support oil prices, investors maintained their strong buying position in the market.
'I would like to confirm our commitment to oil market stability for the benefit of producers & consumers, #Saudi will work closely with major OPEC, non-OPEC producers & with key consumers to mitigate the effects of any supply shortages,' Saudi Energy Minister Khalid Al-Falih wrote Wednesday on his Twitter account.
'I am in close contact with #OPEC ’s Presidency, #Russia and the #US, and will be connecting with other producers and major consumers over the next few days to ensure market stability,' he added.
-Oil could hit $100 a barrel in 2019: Bank of America
There is a risk of crude oil prices hitting $100 per barrel next year due to tightening of supply and demand balance in the global oil market, investment banking giant Bank of America Merrill Lynch said in a report Thursday.
Oil prices have been rising over the past few weeks due to concerns that the U.S. would re-impose sanctions on Iran, which would then hinder Tehran's ability to export oil creating disruptions for global supplies.
Bank of America said in the report that it forecasts Brent crude averaging $70 per barrel in 2018 and $75 a barrel in 2019.
'We also introduce a second quarter $90 per barrel Brent price target for 2019 and see a risk of $100 per barrel of oil next year,' Francisco Blanch, head of commodities research at Bank of America Merrill Lynch, wrote in the report.
“Looking into the next 18 months, we expect global oil supply and demand balances to tighten,” he added.
As for the main reasons for the price increase, the report underscored rising global oil demand, falling crude oil production in Venezuela and possible crude export decline from Iran.
- EIA revises up oil price forecast for 2018, 2019
The U.S.' Energy Information Administration (EIA) revised up its forecast for crude oil prices for this year and the next, according to its Short-Term Energy Outlook (STEO) report for May released on Tuesday.
In 2018, international benchmark Brent crude is now expected to average $71 per barrel, while American benchmark West Texas Intermediate (WTI) is projected to average $66 a barrel -- both up $7 per barrel compared to last month's report.
In 2019, Brent crude is forecast to average $66 per barrel, while WTI is estimated to average $61 a barrel -- both up $3 per barrel from last month's STEO.
'Since January 2017, the beginning of the crude oil production cut agreement among certain countries within and outside the OPEC, global petroleum inventories have declined at an average rate of more than 0.5 million barrels per day (bpd),' the EIA said in its STEO for May.
'Oil prices may have also risen in anticipation of the potential reinstitution of sanctions on Iran, which could contribute to declines in the country’s crude oil production,' it added.
The EIA also said strong growth in global oil demand has contributed to upward pressures on oil prices.
- What to expect this week?
On Monday, the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) will release its monthly oil market report, which will include information on member states' current oil production levels.
On Tuesday, retail sales for April will be announced.
On Wednesday, the IEA will release its latest report.
Again on Wednesday, the U.S.' weekly change in crude oil production and inventories will be out.
Changes to the U.S.' oil rig count will be announced on Friday.
Throughout the week, U.S. Federal Reserve members will speak.