Oil prices rise with fo­cus on Greece, Iran

The China Post - - BUSINESS INDEX & -

Oil prices rose mod­estly on Mon­day as deal­ers fo­cused on hopes for a Greek bailout deal and a pos­si­ble re­turn of Ira­nian sup­plies to an over­sup­plied global mar­ket.

U.S. bench­mark West Texas In­ter­me­di­ate for July de­liv­ery edged up seven cents to US$59.68 a bar­rel on the New York Mer­can­tile Ex­change.

Brent North Sea crude for Au­gust closed at US$63.34 a bar­rel in Lon­don, up 32 cents from Fri­day’s set­tle­ment.

Eu­ro­zone lead­ers, hold­ing an emer­gency sum­mit in Brus­sels on Mon­day, were cau­tiously op­ti­mistic about eleventh-hour re­form pro­pos­als from Greece as they met with Greek Prime Min­is­ter Alexis Tsipras in Brus­sels.

The pres­i­dent of the Euro­pean Union, Don­ald Tusk, said new re­form of­fers made by the left­ist Greek gov­ern­ment were the “first real pro­pos­als for many weeks” from the gov­ern­ment, giv­ing hope for an end to the five-month stand­off be­tween the Greek gov­ern­ment and its EU and In­ter­na­tional Mon­e­tary Fund cred­i­tors be­fore a June 30 dead­line.

If the talks fail, Greece will likely de­fault on an IMF debt pay­ment of around 1.5 bil­lion eu­ros (US$1.7 bil­lion), pos­si­bly lead­ing to its exit from the eu­ro­zone.

Nev­er­the­less, Daniel Ang of Phillip Fu­tures in Sin­ga­pore said Iran’s ne­go­ti­a­tions with world pow­ers over its nu­clear pro­gram are “go­ing to give head­winds for ... prices this week.”

If Tehran and six pow­ers which want to re­strict its nu­clear ac­tiv­i­ties reach agree­ment, the power have agreed to grad­u­ally scale back sanc­tions im­posed since 2012 that have slashed Iran’s oil ex­ports.

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