Energy Market Faces Tense Wait as Trump Set to Announce His Iran Deal Decision

By Joyce Yu

Philadelphia, PA–U.S. President Donald Trump will announce his decision on whether to scrap the Iran nuclear deal this afternoon amid speculation that the U.S will stop waiving sanctions on Iran’s energy and banking sector. Energy market has been witnessing volatility lately on fears of supply disruptions.

While U.S. allies have urged Trump to stick with the deal agreed between Iran and China, France, Germany, Russia, the U.K. and the United States in 2015, the U.S. President is expected to restore sanctions against Iranian oil exports. Trump’s decision could have a major impact on energy markets. Oil prices surpassed $70 a barrel mark on Monday after surging nearly 13% over the past month to their highest level since 2014. Oil stocks including BP, Exxon Mobil receded this morning after soaring sharply yesterday.

On Sino-China trade talks, both parties will hold a new round of trade talks after no breakthroughs emerged from their first meeting. Chinese Vice Premier Liu He will visit Washington next week to continue discussions with President Donald Trump’s economic team. US officials, led by Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, concluded a two-day negotiation in Beijing last week.

Sending a positive signal to the public, White House press secretary Sarah Sanders told reporters on Monday, “We are working on something that we think will be great for everybody.”  The Chinese replied with a more upbeat tone. “We have noted the statement from the White House press secretary. We think it shows the US side’s willingness to reach a consensus with China on economic and trade issues,” China’s ministry of foreign affairs spokesperson Geng Shuang said at a news briefing. “This is a positive signal.”

Corporate actions are equally robust even as geopolitical sphere remains active. T-mobile and Sprint just agreed to merge, AT&T’s acquisition of Time Warner is pending, and now Comcast is planning a $60 billion all-cash bid to top Walt Disney on its deal to acquire most of Twenty-First Century Fox’s assets if the U.S. government approves AT&T’s acquisition of Time Warner.

The bid would top Disney’s offer of $52 billion. Comcast shares have fallen about 15 percent since Disney announced its bid for Fox, and now Comcast thinks it has a better chance with an all-cash bid, even if Fox Executive Chairman Rupert Murdoch prefers Disney shares. To block Disney-Fox deal, Comcast is asking investment banks to increase the bridge financing facility they have already arranged for the Sky offer by as much as $60 billion to finance the Fox bid, according to a Reuter’s report.However, if the government shoots down AT&T-Time Warner, Comcast does not plan to bid.


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