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Oil extends decline after Iran, world powers set date for nuclear talks

SINGAPORE: Oil prices extended declines on Thursday, pushing U.S. futures below $80 a barrel, after Iran and world powers agreed to resume nuclear talks this month that could lead to the removal of U.S. sanctions on Iranian oil, increasing global supplies.

U.S. West Texas Intermediate crude slid for a third day to $79.94 a barrel by 0106 GMT, down 92 cents, or 1.1%. Brent crude futures for January fell for a second session to $81.19 a barrel, down 80 cents, or 1%.

Both benchmarks on Wednesday posted their biggest daily percentage declines since early August, with Brent closing at its lowest since Oct. 7 and WTI since Oct. 13, after weekly inventory data from the U.S. Energy Information Administration showed a larger than expected rise in crude stocks last week.

“The fall in oil prices overnight was likely partly due to the rise in U.S. oil stockpiles,” Commonwealth Bank commodities analyst Vivek Dhar said in a note.

“The more dominant driver of the decline in oil prices was Iran’s announcement that the U.S. and Iran will resume talks on reviving a nuclear accord.”

Tehran and six powers will start talks on reviving the 2015 Iran nuclear deal on Nov. 29. Iran has demanded that the United States remove sanctions that have been limiting its oil exports.

Later on Thursday, the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries and its allies, a group known as OPEC+, will meet. The group is expected to reconfirm plans to keep monthly supply increases steady despite calls for an acceleration. – Reuters

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