(C) Reuters. FILE PHOTO: Pump jacks operate at sunset in Midland, Texas, U.S., February 11, 2019. REUTERS/Nick Oxford/File Photo
By Ahmad Ghaddar
LONDON (Reuters) -Oil prices rose on Tuesday, extending gains of more than 3% the previous session as investors tempered expectations of an early return of oil exporter Iran to international crude markets.
Brent crude futures gained 14 cents, or 0.2%, to $68.60 a barrel by 1342 GMT. U.S. West Texas Intermediate futures were up 32 cents, or 0.5%, at $66.37.
Indirect negotiations between the United States and Iran are due to resume in Vienna this week. Talks were resurrected after Tehran and the U.N. nuclear agency extended a monitoring agreement on the Middle Eastern country’s atomic programme.
U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken on Sunday said the United States has not seen yet whether Iran will move to comply with its nuclear commitments to have sanctions removed even as talks have shown progress.
“It seems that the market no longer expects the nuclear agreement between the U.S. and Iran to be reinstated in the near future, or therefore that Iranian oil exports will quickly return to the global market,” Commerzbank (DE:CBKG) said in a note.
Global recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic remains patchy, meanwhile, indicating a mixed outlook for oil demand.
Parts of Europe and the United States are recording fewer infections and deaths, prompting governments to ease restrictions. However, in areas such as India – the world’s third-biggest oil importer – infection rates remain high.
New coronavirus infections in India rose by 222,315, government data showed on Monday, the world’s biggest 24-hour increase, though numbers have fallen from highs of more than 400,000 earlier this month.
The German economy shrank more than expected in the first quarter as coronavirus-related restrictions spurred householders to put more money than ever into savings, data showed on Tuesday.
Oil rises as prospect of Iran glut wanes
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