US stock prices fell sharply on Tuesday as French President Emmanuel Macron visited US President Donald Trump.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 424 points (1.7 percent) to 24,025 while the S&P index dropped 35 points (1.3 percent). The tech sector did not fare much better, with the Nasdaq composite falling 121 points (1.7 percent).
Crude oil prices also dropped severely as Macron raised the specter of salvaging the Iran nuclear deal. Oil prices had been surging in recent weeks on the hope that Trump would back out of the 2015 Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, which would wipe out an estimated 1 million barrels of crude oil output per day by renewing sanctions on Iran.
Macron proposes new Iran deal
“It’s about respecting the sovereignty of the states in the region. It’s not about tearing apart an agreement but building something new that will cover all of our concerns,” Macron said during a joint news conference with Trump Tuesday. Trump has the ability to exit the deal on May 12, when he is due to make a decision on whether to reauthorize its provisions. While Trump has been expected to ditch the deal, as he promised at its last reauthorization, Macron has proposed a new framework that would build on top of the JCPOA instead of killing it.
Nevertheless, Trump did everything he could to reassure Riyadh that it’s not certain he will renew the Iran deal. “Nobody knows” what Trump will do on May 12, the US president said.
Meanwhile, in crypto markets, Bitcoin surged 6.13 percent up to $9,434 while Ethereum spiked 10.80 percent up to $708 as of press time.