Oil prices ended mostly lower for the third straight session on Friday weighed down by mounting concerns that a potential deal between Iran and international negotiators limiting its nuclear program would see an increase in its crude output.
Light sweet crude for August delivery ended 7 cents or 0.1% at $59.73 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange. The contract ended 6% for the week but based on the most active contracts, gained about 2 cents for the week.
Brent for August delivery, the global benchmark, ended 6 points or 0.0.1% higher at $63.26 a barrel on the London based ICE Futures Exchange.
The final deal between the Islamic country and the world powers is due on June 30th with most traders expecting a deal to lead to the lifting of economic sanctions over the country allowing additional Iranian oil to be exported.
“It appears as though investors are growing worried about the possibility of Iran flooding the already-saturated global oil market soon,” Fawad Razaqzada, technical analyst at FOREX.com, told Reuters in a telephone conversation.
Also weighing crude down were worries that Greece’s failure to agree a bailout deal with its international creditors would hurt the world economy leading go a slump in the demand of oil.
Concern over Greece also spurred the US dollar higher against a basket of foreign currencies. A stronger US dollar is bearish for the demand of commodities denominated in dollars like oil as it makes it more expensive to holders of other currencies.
Data from oilfield services provider Baker Hughes also worsened market sentiment after reporting that the total number of active US drilling rigs rose by two last week to 859 fuelling worries that the global glut was persisting.
“We are still pumping at a near-record level and production hasn’t been affected by the rig count yet,” Gene McGillian, a senior analyst at Tradition Energy in Stamford, Connecticut, told Bloomberg.
“The longs are waiting for something to drive prices higher but they don’t have the correct fundamental picture.”
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