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Oil Traders Brace for Trump's Iran Decision

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Deadline for Trump’s Iran decision nears, oil rises over $70, and China urges “rational and pragmatic” approach to trade. Here are some of the things people in markets are talking about today.

Decision time

Over the weekend both sides made their final pitches on the Iran deal, with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu saying the agreement is fatally flawed, while Iranian President Hassan Rouhani warned that the U.S. would face “historic” regret if it pulled out of the 2015 accord. Britain’s Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson travels to Washington this week to try to salvage the pact, following in the footsteps of French President Emmanuel Macron and German Chancellor Angela Merkel. The deadline for President Donald Trump to renew the deal is May 12. 

Oil rises 

A barrel of West Texas Intermediate for June delivery was trading at $70.41 by 5:50 a.m. Eastern Time, rising above $70 for the first time since November 2014 on the month-forward contract, as traders brace for the possible reimposition of sanctions on Iran. While the increasing price of crude may be driven by Iran worries, that country’s deputy oil minister has said that a “suitable price” for oil’s Brent contract would be in the $60 to $65 range, well below today’s level of $75.50 and also far below Saudi Arabia’s ambition for $80

It’s a trap

Rudy Giuliani said he is leaning against making President Donald Trump available for interview with Special Counsel Robert Mueller as part of the probe into Russian meddling into the 2016 presidential election. Speaking during an appearance on ABC’s “This Week” yesterday, he said such an interview would be a “trap.” Trump isn’t the only difficulty the investigation faces, with lawyers representing a firm controlled by Yevgeny Prigozhin, who has close ties to President Vladimir Putin, going on the offensive to defend against charges brought by Mueller. 

Markets rise

Overnight the MSCI Asia Pacific Index climbed 0.1 percent, while Japan’s Topix index closed with a 0.1 percent gain as it traded for the first time since last Wednesday. In Europe, the Stoxx 600 Index was 0.2 percent higher in a quiet session due to a holiday in the U.K. Energy shares outperformed amid the higher oil price and Air France-KLM plunged more than 10 percent after the company’s CEO said he plans to resign. S&P 500 futures pointed to a higher open, the 10-year Treasury yield was at 2.963 percent and gold was slightly lower. 

Treasury supply, Fed speakers 

It’s shaping up to be a busy week for bond markets in the U.S., with the Treasury due to sell $48 billion of 3-month bills and $42 billion of 6-month bills at 11:30 a.m. today, and a combined $73 billion of 3-, 10-, and 30-year securities by Friday. Speakers today include Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta President Raphael Bostic, Richmond Fed President Tom Barkin, Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas President Robert Kaplan and Chicago Fed President Charles Evans.

What we've been reading

This is what's caught our eye over the weekend.

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