Crude drops on Iran deal, hitting oil stocks and currencies

Reuters News
Posted: Jul 13, 2015 7:59 PM

By Nigel Stephenson

LONDON (Reuters) - Oil prices dropped, pushing commodity-linked shares and currencies lower on Tuesday, after Iran and six world powers reached a historic nuclear deal expected to increase the supply of Iranian crude on world markets.

European shares fell, led lower by oil and gas stocks, and U.S. stocks futures dipped.

But oil was the big mover, down nearly 2 percent after the deal in Vienna. Clinched after more than a decade of on-off negotiations, it grants Iran sanctions relief in exchange for curbs on its nuclear program.

Brent crude was last down $1.10 a barrel, or 1.9 percent, at $56.73 a barrel.

"Even with a historic deal, oil from Iran will take time to return, and will not be before next year, most likely the second half of 2016," Amrita Sen, chief oil analyst at London-based consultancy Energy Aspects, told Reuters.

"But given how oversupplied the market is, with Saudi output at record highs, the mere prospect of new oil will be bearish for sentiment."

The fall in crude prices hit oil producers' currencies. The Norwegian crown fell 1.1 percent to 8.17 per dollar, having earlier fallen to 8.19, while the Canadian dollar fell 0.4 percent against the greenback to a four-month low of C$1.2790.

The euro edged up 0.2 percent to $1.1021 after shedding 1.5 percent on Monday.

Some investors also switched their attention to expectations U.S. interest rates will rise in the coming months.

Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen, who said last week she expected U.S. interest rates would rise some time this year, is due to give semi-annual testimony on monetary policy before Congress on Wednesday and Thursday.

European shares fell, snapping a four-day rally, also depressed as investors turned cautious on the prospects of the Greek government winning parliamentary support for reforms demanded by its creditors in exchange for talks on an 86 billion euro rescue package.

"I'm not sure we can get the energy (for the euro) to go further unless one of two things happens: either there are negative connotations coming from the Greek vote tomorrow ... or Yellen stands up and says something slightly more hawkish," said Kit Juckes, macro strategist at Societe Generale in London.

The euro zone's Euro STOXX 50 index was down 0.3 percent after hitting a two-week high on Monday. It has gained about 9 percent since last Tuesday's close. The STOXX Europe 600 Oil & Gas price index fell 0.9 percent, making it the top sectoral faller.

The pan-European FTSEurofirst 300 index was down 0.1 percent, having risen 1.9 percent on Monday.

Wall Street looked set for a lower open as oil took a beating and as attention switched to earnings.

MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan was up about 0.1 percent, erasing earlier gains. Japan's Nikkei gained 1.5 percent.

Shanghai's benchmark composite index closed down 1.2 percent, while the CSI300 index of the largest listed companies in Shanghai and Shenzhen slipped 2.4 percent.

German 10-year government bond yields held steady at 0.87 percent.

Gold fell as investors focused on the prospect of higher U.S. interest rates. It was last down about 0.3 percent at $1,154 an ounce.

(Additional reporting by Alistair Smout, Jemima Kelly and Ron Bousso; Editing by Mark Trevelyan)