Oil prices rise on back of Iran tensions, weakening greenback


LONDON–Oil prices rose on Monday as major crude producer Iran and Western powers failed to reach agreement over Tehran’s nuclear program and as the dollar weakened against the euro, analysts said. New York’s main contract, West Texas Intermediate crude for delivery in July gained US$1.01 to US$91.87 a barrel. Brent North Sea crude for July won US$1.14 to US$107.97 in London midday deals.

The issue of Tehran’s uranium enrichment and stockpile had been at the centre of talks last week between Iran and major world powers — who believe the country’s nuclear activities mask a push to build atomic weapons. Iran, already under heavy sanctions for refusing to suspend its nuclear program, has denied the accusations and threatened to disrupt Middle East oil supply if it is faced with further sanctions. “Iran and the Grexit drove oil prices down during the first half of last week, but developments on both issues have turned them into support for oil prices,” Tamas Varga, an analyst at brokers PVM Oil Associates, said on Monday. Traders said that oil prices were also supported by a weaker greenback, which makes dollar-denominated crude cheaper for holders of other currencies, boosting demand and in turn prices.