Oil prices were on track for a third day of losses on Thursday after diplomats said progress was made on an agreement to lift sanctions on Iran, which could boost crude supply .
Brent was down 81 cents, or 1.2%, to $ 65.85 a barrel at 1152 GMT. US West Texas Intermediate oil fell 77 cents, or 1.2%, to $ 62.59 a barrel. Both contracts fell about 3% in the previous session.
Iranian President Hassan Rouhani said in a televised speech Thursday that sanctions on oil, shipping, petrochemicals, insurance and the central bank had been addressed in the talks.
However, senior British, French and German diplomats issued a warning on Wednesday, saying that while there was tangible progress with the outlines of a final deal emerging, success was not guaranteed. Read more
Indian refiners and at least one European refiner are reassessing their crude purchases to make room for Iranian oil in the second half of this year, anticipating that U.S. sanctions will be lifted, company officials and trade sources said. Read more
“With global oil demand growth expected to be healthy for the rest of the year and into 2022, the producer group (OPEC +) is in a relatively comfortable position to cope with increased Iranian production. without compromising the oil rebalancing, ”PVM analysts said.
Concerns about the outlook for demand in Asia also pushed prices down. Almost two-thirds of people tested in India show exposure to the coronavirus. Read more
Speculation that the US Federal Reserve may at some point begin to tighten policy has weighed on the outlook for economic growth and prompted some investors to reduce their exposure to oil and other commodities. Read more
Supporting prices early in the session, US crude inventories (USOILC = ECI) rose 1.3 million barrels last week, against analysts’ expectations in a Reuters poll for a rise of 1.6 million barrels.
Gasoline inventories (USOILG = ECI) fell by 2 million barrels, compared to forecasts of a drop of 886,000 barrels. Gasoline proceeds supplied, a measure of demand, increased 5% to 9.2 million barrels per day, although this includes tracking demand from the Colonial pipeline shutdown.
“What titillates our attention is the rapid recovery in demand for petroleum products in the United States, which is now very close to (level) of 2019,” SEB analysts said in a note.
Swiss bank UBS said it expected oil inventories to drop to pre-COVID levels by mid-year with oil prices of $ 75 a barrel in the second half of the year.
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