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Brent futures traded near $108 a barrel today, as geopolitical tensions in the Middle East saw some relief ahead of the US and Iran’s nuclear talks, due to take place later this week; however, increasing oil exports from Iraq and Libya restricted the price growth.

Brent crude decreased by 30 cents to $107.86, while US oil fell by 20 cents at $103.39 a barrel, reported Reuters.

Expectations of a thaw in the Iran-US relationship have increased, with the former agreeing for fresh talks on Tehran’s nuclear programme with top officials from six world powers, including US Secretary of State John Kerry, later this week.

A meeting between President Barack Obama and Iran’s new centrist president, Hassan Rouhani, is also expected this week.

The UN Security Council is scheduled to meet this week, where it is expected to back the US-Russian plan to disarm Syria of its chemical weapons.

"The UN Security Council is scheduled to meet this week, where it is expected to back the US-Russian plan to disarm Syria."

Beside this, traders are still concerned about any escalation of violence in Syria, which, even though not a major oil producer, could disturb exports from the Middle East, which pumps a third of the world’s oil.

Although Iraq is continuing with its plans to keep a lid on oil exports, shipments from the OPEC’s number two producer improved as the Rumaila field boosted its output, after containing a pipeline leak.

Libyan crude output is also recovering gradually, after protests that lasted more than a month.

An official said the north African nation could reopen its eastern Hariga port this week, but there was no progress on opening larger eastern terminals that remained shut for weeks.

Investors seemed to be keeping their fingers crossed over the possibilities of US Federal Reserve rolling back its stimulus programme, amid its surprise decision last week to continue further.


Image: Oil prices received some support from eased geopolitical tensions in Middle East. Photo: Courtesy of freedigitalphotos.

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