Oil Holds Near $71 as Traders Assess Rising Demand, Iran Talks

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(Bloomberg) — Oil traded near $71 a barrel after a three-week advance as the steady roll-out of coronavirus vaccines underpins an improved summer demand outlook in the U.S. and Europe.

West Texas Intermediate was little changed in early Asian trading after adding 1.9% last week to hit the highest level since October 2018. Brent was steady. In the U.S., the number of daily air travelers has topped 2 million for the first time since the pandemic began. Americans are becoming increasingly comfortable meeting friends, going to workplaces, getting on planes, and attending large events, according to a CBS News survey conducted by YouGov.

The U.S. benchmark is on course for a fifth quarterly advance, which would be the best run since 2010, as consumption improves while the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries and its allies ease supply curbs only gradually. Global oil demand will recover to pre-pandemic levels late next year, the International Energy Agency predicted last week, urging OPEC and its partners to keep markets balanced by tapping their plentiful spare production capacity.

Traders are also tracking talks in Vienna this week between Iran and world powers to revive a nuclear accord, potentially allowing U.S. sanctions on the nation’s crude exports to be lifted. Iran’s Deputy Foreign Minister Abbas Araghchi has cast doubt on the chances of reviving the pact before Iranians elect a new president on June 18. Ebrahim Raisi, the hardline cleric widely tipped to replace President Hassan Rouhani, said that he’ll continue the negotiations if elected, but he won’t treat them as a major national concern.

©2021 Bloomberg L.P.


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