Crude futures fall on hopes of 'new era' in US-Iran relations

24 September 2013 16:04  [Source: ICIS news]

LONDON (ICIS)--NYMEX light sweet crude futures fell by more than $1.00/bbl on Tuesday, to take the front-month November WTI contract below $103/bbl, on rising expectations of a rare meeting between the US and Iranian presidents at the UN General Assembly annual gathering in New York this week.

By 14:30 GMT, November NYMEX crude had hit a low of $102.30/bbl – a loss of $1.29/bbl from the previous day's close of $103.59/bbl, before recovering to around $102.32/bbl.

At the same time, November Brent crude on ICE Futures was trading around $107.55/bbl, having hit a low of $107.47/bbl – a loss of 69 cents/bbl from the previous close of $108.16/bbl.

US President Barack Obama and the president of Iran Hassan Rouhani are not currently scheduled to meet at the UN gathering, but both leaders are due to address the General Assembly on Tuesday.

Meanwhile, Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad-Javad Zarif is scheduled to meet with senior diplomats on Thursday to discuss the Iranian nuclear programme, and has hailed the diplomatic efforts as the beginning of a “new era”.

The US and its allies have imposed economic sanctions on Iran that has roughly halved Tehran’s oil sales since 2011.

Crude futures were also pressured by the resumption of oil exports from Libya. At least three cargoes of Libyan crude, including a cargo of light-sweet, naphtha-rich Mellitah has been scheduled for export this week.

Prices also remain depressed by uncertainty over the US Federal Reserve’s plans to taper its bond-buying programme.

Additional Reporting by Kawai Wong

($1 = €0.75)

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By: Cuckoo James
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