Oil prices dip be­fore Greece, Iran dead­lines

The China Post - - MARKETS -

Oil prices fell slightly on Fri­day as traders awaited the out­come of talks over Greece’s bailout and Iran’s nu­clear pro­gram.

U.S. bench­mark West Texas In­ter­me­di­ate for de­liv­ery in Au­gust slipped 22 cents to US$59.48 a bar­rel com­pared with Thurs­day’s close.

Brent North Sea crude for Au­gust dipped two cents to stand at US$63.18 a bar­rel in Lon­don af­ter­noon deals.

Crude fu­tures were weighed down over the week mean­while by high lev­els of sup­plies in the United States, the world’s big­gest con­sumer of oil.

“The fo­cus for Fri­day and into the week­end will be on Greece,” said Sin­ga­pore’s United Over­seas Bank.

Crude in­vestors were weigh­ing the “po­ten­tial neg­a­tive im­pact from Greece’s debt cri­sis on Euro­pean energy de­mand”, the len­der said in a mar­ket com­men­tary.

Deal­ers are also keep­ing a close watch as Iran and ma­jor Western pow­ers race to agree a deal by June 30 that would see Tehran open up its nu­clear pro­gram to al­lay con­cerns it is seek­ing atomic weapons, in re­turn for the West lift­ing pun­ish­ing eco­nomic sanc­tions.

Any agree­ment could re­sult in Ira­nian crude re­turn­ing to the world mar­ket, adding to the cur­rent over­sup­ply which sent prices plung­ing from more than US$100 a bar­rel last year.

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