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Crude futures mixed capping a down week as Greece, Iran and Fed weigh

CommoditiesJul 10, 2015 02:49PM ET
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WTI crude closed the week below $53, while brent ended the week below $59

Investing.com -- Crude futures were mixed on Friday in spite of a weaker dollar, amid increased optimism of a deal in Greek Debt negotiations and further delays in Iranian Nuclear talks.

In addition, investors digested hawkish comments from Janet Yellen on the likelihood of an interest rate hike by the Federal Reserve later this year, a rally in Chinese equities and further builds in U.S. oil rigs in afternoon trading, as WTI crude prices remained lower.

On the New York Mercantile Exchange, WTI crude for August delivery lost 0.03 or 0.07% to close at $52.73 a barrel. For the session, WTI crude traded between 51.97 and 53.81 a barrel. For the week, Texas Long Sweet futures fell by roughly 5% after Thursday's rally erased some of the sharp losses from Monday's session.

On the Intercontinental Exchange (ICE), brent crude for August delivery gained 0.09 or 0.15% to $58.70 a barrel. Brent futures reached an intraday high of 59.66, before falling slightly in U.S. afternoon trading. Over the last five days of trading, brent futures declined by roughly 2.70%.

In Vienna, Iran and western powers missed another deadline for a comprehensive nuclear deal, extending Friday's deadline until early next week. While briefing reporters on developments in the tense negotiations, White House spokesman Josh Earnest said the talks are not driven by deadlines but by the usefulness of the conversations between the two sides. Still, the sides needed to reach a deal on Friday set by the U.S. Congress for an expedited 30-day review. Any accord now reached by Sept. 7 will be subject to a 60-day review by Congress.

A nuclear deal is viewed as bearish for crude, as Iran reportedly hoards 30 million barrels of crude in its reserves ready for export. An outflow of Iranian oil could depress crude prices in a global market already oversaturated by a glut of oversupply. It is widely believed that Iran will ramp up exports if a plethora of severe economic sanctions are lifted by western powers.

In U.S. afternoon trading, oil services firm Baker Hughes (NYSE:BHI) said the U.S. oil rig count last week edged up by five to 645, marking the second consecutive week of weekly builds. A week earlier, U.S. oil rigs rose by 12 to 640, ending a 29-week streak of weekly draws.

Elsewhere, EUR/USD surged 0.85% to 1.113, as Yellen reaffirmed the Fed's plan to start raising its benchmark Federal Funds Rate at some point this year. Speaking at the The City Club of Cleveland, Yellen also indicated that she saw signs of rising wage and moderate economic growth for the remainder of the year.

Currency traders also remained cautious in advance of Sunday's emergency meeting in Brussels between Greece and its troika of creditors. On Thursday, Greece made strict concessions on tax reforms in a €13 billion revised proposal which could allow the beleaguered Mediterranean state to remain in the euro.

The U.S. Dollar Index, which measures the strength of the greenback versus a basket of six other major currencies, fell 0.54% to 96.15.

Dollar-denominated commodities such as crude oil become more expensive for foreign purchasers when the dollar appreciates.

Crude futures mixed capping a down week as Greece, Iran and Fed weigh
 

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