Oil Holds Gains As U.S. Imposes New Sanctions Iran

By Myra P. Saefong Markets MarketWatch Pulse

Oil futures on Friday continued to trade modestly higher after the U.S. Treasury announced that it has imposed new sanctions on Iran, one of the world's top 10 oil producers, following its ballistic missile test launch. It has sanctioned more than two dozen businesses and individuals for their alleged role in support the missile-testing program, according to The Wall Street Journal. Details on the sanctions weren't immediately clear. "These actions are not likely to cause significant problems unless Iran's response is more harassment to ships in the Persian Gulf," said James Williams, energy economist at WTRG Economics. March West Texas Intermediate crude traded at $53.76 a barrel, up 22 cents, or 0.4%. April Brent added 27 cents, or 0.5%, to $56.83.

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