Oil prices mixed after falling

25th June 2015, Comments 0 comments

Oil prices were mixed Thursday after falls the previous day caused by high US output, while the market also tracked talks concerning Iran's nuclear programme.

US benchmark West Texas Intermediate for August delivery fell 23 cents to $60.04 from Wednesday's close.

Brent North Sea crude for August edged up three cents to stand at $63.52 a barrel in London midday deals.

Prices had fallen Wednesday as the weekly US energy inventory report showed domestic output remaining at a high level.

Meanwhile crude stockpiles, though down 4.9 million barrels, were still at a near-record 463 million barrels.

Oil prices slumped by more than half in value between last June and the start of this year but have since been largely steady.

"Looking at the market from a somewhat greater distance and ignoring the daily fluctuations, the market has actually seen little movement of late," Commerzbank analysts said in a note to clients on Thursday.

Sanjeev Gupta, head of the Asia-Pacific oil and gas practice at business consultancy EY, meanwhile said dealers are also expecting an "extension of the Iran nuclear talks," which could see it returning to the world stage as an important oil producer.

However, it "seems increasingly likely as the parties involved signalled doubt about being able to resolve all the issues by the 30 June deadline", added Gupta.

Six global powers are trying to nail down a deal to curb Iran's nuclear ambitions by reducing its stockpiles of enriched uranium and mothballing some of its sites.

If the agreement is implemented, the powers have agreed to gradually scale back sanctions imposed since 2012, including on its petroleum industry.

Iran has the world's fourth-largest oil reserves but its exports have fallen from more than 2.2 million barrels per day in 2011 to about 1.3 million because of the sanctions.


© 2015 AFP

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