Oil extends losses as Iran nuclear talks set to resume

An oil pumpjack is seen in Velma, Oklahoma U.S. April 7, 2016. (Reuters)

SULAIMANI (ESTA) — Oil prices extended losses on Thursday, after Iran and world powers agreed to resume nuclear talks this month that could lead to the removal of U.S. sanctions on Iranian oil.

Brent crude futures fell for a session to $81.40 a barrel by 0531 GMT, down 59 cents.

U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude slid for a third day to $80.06 per barrel, down 80 cents.

Both benchmarks on Wednesday posted their biggest daily percentage declines since early August, with Brent closing at its lowest since October 7 and WTI since Oct. 13.

“The fall in oil prices overnight was likely partly due to the rise in U.S. oil stockpiles,” Reuters quoted Commonwealth Bank commodities analyst Vivek Dhar as saying.

“The more dominant driver of the decline in oil prices was Iran’s announcement that the U.S. and Iran will resume talks on reviving a nuclear accord.”

Later on Thursday, OPEC and its allies including Russia, a group known as OPEC+, will meet. It is expected to reconfirm plans to keep monthly supply increases steady despite calls for an acceleration.

“The majority of OPEC+ members cannot raise production from current levels … while even Saudi Arabia has stressed the need to exercise caution on demand growth given increased COVID instances, while boosting crude oil output,” Citi analysts said, according to Reuters.

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