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Crude up in choppy trading, tracks Iranian nuclear talks

CommoditiesNov 19, 2013 12:46PM ET
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This article has already been saved in your Saved Items - Oil prices edged higher on Tuesday albeit in a choppy session as investors waited for talks to begin on Wednesday between Western delegates and Iran over the latter's nuclear program and ways to close it.

An end to nuclear impasse could resume the flow of Iranian crude into global markets.

On the New York Mercantile Exchange, light sweet crude futures for delivery in January traded at USD93.79 a barrel during U.S. trading, up 0.12%.

The commodity hit a session low of USD93.23 and a high of USD94.05. The December contract settled down 0.86% at USD93.03 a barrel on Monday.

Oil futures were likely to find support at USD92.53 a barrel, Thursday's low, and resistance at USD94.92 a barrel, Monday's high.

On Wednesday in Geneva, talks among the U.S., Russia, China, Britain, Germany, France and Iran will open with hopes building that progress will be made to dismantle Tehran's nuclear program.

A deal would resume the flow of Iranian crude into global markets and lower prices, as trade sanctions slapped on Iran due to its alleged nuclear ambitions have taken out more than 1 million barrels per day of oil from the global market.

Pressuring prices higher, however, were ongoing sentiments that the Federal Reserve will keep its monetary stimulus programs in place through early 2014.

Federal Reserve Chair Ben Bernanke is due to speak in public this week, and markets took up positions betting that the nation's top economist won't signal the need for a timetable to begin tapering the Fed's USD85 billion in monthly bond purchases, which keep the greenback weak to spur recovery.

A weaker greenback makes oil an attractive buy on dollar-denominated exchanges.

Last week, Fed Chair Nominee Janet Yellen suggested the economy still needs the U.S. central bank's ultra-loose monetary policies to ensure recovery, and on Monday, the Fed's Bank of New York chief William C. Dudley said he was hopeful that recovery will gain steam soon but made no indication over a need to consider scaling back bond purchases.

Investors also bet that the minutes of the Fed’s October meeting due for release on Wednesday will paint a similar picture for the need to hold off on scaling back stimulus tools for now.

Bearish pressures stemming from hopes for an end to the Iranian nuclear impasse clashing with bullish pressures stemming from Fed expectations allowed for choppy trading on Tuesday.

Meanwhile on the ICE Futures Exchange, Brent oil futures for January delivery were down 0.60% at USD107.82 a barrel, up USD14.03 from its U.S. counterpart.

Crude up in choppy trading, tracks Iranian nuclear talks

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