Oil Kicks off Week on Mixed Note, Traders Weigh Prospects

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Oil futures started the week on a mixed note, with U.S. crude prices down a few pennies, but global benchmark crude up on optimism over a recovery in global demand.

With limited exception, crude and product prices have consistently marched higher in 2021, as the prospect of a global demand recovery has overshadowed the potential for new supply to hit the market, said Robbie Fraser, global research and analytics manager at Schneider Electric.

Regarding demand, some recent support is likely tied to talks around the Iranian nuclear deal, which while ongoing, have failed to deliver a breakthrough that would allow Iran to resume oil exports without the threat of U.S. sanctions, said Fraser, in a note. 

Irans foreign ministry has offered a more cautious tone in recent days, in contrast to some more optimistic quotes that had been released in previous weeks, he said. Still, Iran has stated there is broad agreement around the terms of a renewed deal, even as specific items remain unresolved.

West Texas Intermediate crude for July delivery edged down by 3 cents, or 0.04, to settle at 70.88 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange, posting a loss for the first time in three sessions. Prices based on the frontmonth contract had finished Friday at the highest since October 2018.

Global benchmark August Brent crude, however, gained 17 cents, or 0.2, to settle at 72.86 a barrel on ICE Futures Europe, the highest finish since April 2019, according to Dow Jones Market Data….

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