Oil prices traded sharply lower Monday after a weekend breakthrough over Iran’s nuclear program put the commodity back in the spotlight.
Benchmark U.S. crude for January delivery was recently down 1.6% at $93.32 in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. Brent crude oil prices, a separate gauge, declined 2% to around $108.82 a barrel.
Iran on Sunday reached an agreement with the U.S., Britain, France, Russia, China and Germany to limit enrichment of uranium to 5%, far below the level needed for nuclear weapons.
Iran got limited relief from sanctions that have hobbled its economy, but an embargo on its oil exports remains in place while negotiations continue for an enduring deal.
The nuclear deal has potentially made it more likely that the sanctions choking Iranian oil exports will eventually be lifted. The nation’s oil exports are currently capped at about 1 million barrels a day, according to Bloomberg.
The major pre-market indexes on Wall Street saw modest gains on Monday.
Dow Jones industrial average index futures, Standard & Poor’s 500 index futures and Nasdaq index futures all advanced by around 0.3% ahead of Monday’s opening bell.
Wall Street in recent days continued to be lifted by the Federal Reserve’s super easy monetary policy, signs of gradual improvement in the U.S. economy and rising company profits.
On Friday, S&P 500 rose 0.5% to 1,804.76. The Dow gained 0.3% to 16,064.77. The Nasdaq composite jumped 0.6% to 3,991.65.
“Perhaps the Iran nuclear deal, effectively setting limits to Iran’s nuclear program, has added to the buoyant risk mood,” said Stan Shamu, market strategist at IG in Melbourne, Australia.
In Asia, Japan’s Nikkei 225 stock average rose 1.5% to 15,619.13 and Hong Kong’s Hang Seng added 0.1% to 23,710.02.
European shares diverged. Britain’s FTSE 100 index fell 0.1%, but Germany’s DAX index added 0.3%.