Oil futures lost ground Thursday, with weakness attributed in part to signs that negotiators were making progress toward a deal that would see the U.S. lift sanctions against Iran, eventually returning a large source of supply to the market.
Crude and product prices continue to price in some additional downside risk as the U.S. and Iran make progress towards a deal that could see the U.S. rejoin the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action nuclear deal and end sanctions against Iranian oil exports, said Robbie Fraser, global research and analytics manager at Schneider Electric, in a note.
While obstacles remain, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani offered optimistic comments on state media amid ongoing talks between U.S. and Iranian delegations, he said.
Rouhani said Thursday that the talks in Vienna were about minor issues and that the U.S. has accepted to lift sanctions on Irans oil and shipping sectors, according to a report from Reuters. European officials, however, said that while progress was made, much work remained.
West Texas Intermediate crude for June delivery fell 83 cents, or 1.3, to 62.53 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange, ahead of the contracts expiration at the end of the session. The soontobe frontmonth July contract lost 81 cents, or 1.3, to 62.54.
July Brent crude the global benchmark, was down 90 cents, or 1.4, at 65.76 a barrel on ICE Futures Europe.
WTI tumbled 3.3 on Wednesday, while Brent lost 3 as crude got caught up in a broad selloff…