Oil prices down in Asian trade on worries over Greece, Iran talks
Oil prices fell in Asia Monday as dealers fretted over a collapse in Greece’s debt talks and a possible return of Iranian supplies disrupted by international sanctions, analysts said.
U.S. benchmark West Texas Intermediate for July delivery fell sev- en cents to US$59.89 while Brent crude for July eased seven cents to US$63.80 in afternoon trade.
Markets are “closely tracking the Greek debt crisis and the ongoing negotiations between Iran and the big six powers,” said Sanjeev Gupta, head of the AsiaPacific oil and gas practice at business consultancy firm EY.
Crunch negotiations between Athens and its creditors fell apart on Sunday, fueling fears the cashstarved government was heading irreversibly into the financial abyss with a huge IMF debt payment due at the end of the month.
Investors are also focusing on Iran ahead of a June 30 deadline for the Islamic republic and world powers to come to an agreement on curbing Tehran’s nuclear program.
Six global powers — the UK, China, France, Germany, Russia and the United States — are trying to nail down a deal to curb Iran’s nuclear ambitions by reducing its stockpiles of enriched uranium and mothballing some of its sites.
Iran has the world’s fourthlargest oil reserves but its exports have fallen from more than 2.2 million barrels per day in 2011 to about 1.3 million because of the sanctions.