New York’s main contract West Texas Intermediate (WTI) for December delivery was up seven cents to USD 94.67 in mid-morning trade, while Brent North Sea crude for December rose 38 cents to USD 105.50.
“We see no breakthrough in the nuclear talks held between Iran and the six powers in Geneva last week,” Teoh Say Hwa, head of investment at Phillip Futures in Singapore, told AFP.
“This has deferred concerns over the influx of Iranian oil into global markets, hence supporting crude oil prices,” she said.
Diplomats yesterday insisted they were closing in on agreement to curb Iran’s nuclear programme despite the failure to clinch a long-sought deal in marathon negotiations in Geneva.
The Islamic republic has been crippled by a series of UN and US sanctions aimed at bringing an end to its nuclear drive, which the West claims is being used to develop atomic weapons. Iran denies the assertion.
The so-called P5+1 group of major powers — Britain, France, the United States, Russia, China plus Germany — plan to meet again with Iranian delegates on November 20 with the hope of securing a short-term deal that would freeze the country’s nuclear activities while both sides work on a comprehensive agreement.
Meanwhile, oil prices were also supported by strong US job and economic growth figures that topped forecasts and signalled a possible recovery in the world’s biggest economy following months of languid growth, Teoh Said.
The US Labor Department’s highly anticipated October jobs report released on Friday showed the world’s largest economy added a surprising 204,000 jobs, more than double the average analyst estimate, despite a 16-day partial federal government shutdown.
The Commerce Department’s third-quarter GDP advanced estimates came in at an annual rate of 2.8 per cent, well above the 1.9 per cent projected by analysts.