NEW YORK (CBSNEWS.COM) – President Donald Trump’s decision to take the U.S. out of the Iran nuclear deal is hitting investors (and) where it hurts — the oil market. That’s because the U.S. will reimpose sanctions on Iran’s economy and its oil exports.
Crude oil has zoomed above $71 a barrel, returning to levels not seen since late 2014 and pushing up pump prices. Along the way, traders’ stomachs were churned by some nasty whipsaw action heading into the announcement. But with the deed now done, what lies ahead, and what are the risks to the economy and stocks?
Inflationary pressure was already becoming a problem: On a year-over-year basis, the headline personal consumption expenditures price index has pushed above 2 percent for the first time since 2012. Excluding good and energy, the measure is at 1.9 percent — within a hair of the Federal Reserve’s inflation target.
Thanks to OPEC’s efforts to normalize the crude oil market in the wake of the 2014 price war, crude oil prices have nearly tripled from their early 2016 low and are up 22 percent just since February. The national average price for a gallon of regular gas has increased to $2.77, up from $2.18 last summer and back to levels last seen in the middle of 2015.