Oil prices fall as investors await Iran nuclear talks

File – Pump jacks are seen at the Ashalchinskoye oil field owned by Russia’s oil producer Tatneft near Almetyevsk, in the Republic of Tatarstan, Russia, July 27, 2017. (Reuters photo)

SULAIMANI (ESTA) — Oil prices fell on Monday, as investors awaited the outcome of this week’s talks between Iran and the world powers over a nuclear deal which is expected to boost crude supplies.

Brent crude futures fell 56 cents to $71.33 a barrel by 0636 GMT, after earlier hitting $72.27, their highest since May 2019.

U.S. West Texas Intermediate crude touched $70 for the first time since October 2018 but reversed course to be at $69.18 a barrel, down 44 cents.

“The primary concern is about Iranian barrels coming back into the market but I don’t think there will be a deal before the Iranian presidential election,” Avtar Sandu, a senior commodities manager at Philips Futures in Singapore, told Reuters.

Both contracts have risen for the past two weeks as fuel demand is rebounding in the United States and Europe after governments loosened COVID-19 restrictions ahead of summer travel.

Global oil demand is expected to exceed supplies in the second half despite a gradual easing of supply cuts by OPEC+ producers, Reuters cited analysts as saying.

Analysts expect Iran, which is having its presidential election on June 18, to increase its production by 500,000 to 1 million barrels per day once sanctions are lifted.

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