Oil prices rise with focus on Greece, Iran


NEW YORK–Oil prices rose modestly on Monday as dealers focused on hopes for a Greek bailout deal and a possible return of Iranian supplies to an oversupplied global market.

U.S. benchmark West Texas Intermediate for July delivery edged up seven cents to US$59.68 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange. Brent North Sea crude for August closed at US$63.34 a barrel in London, up 32 cents from Friday’s settlement. Eurozone leaders, holding an emergency summit in Brussels on Monday, were cautiously optimistic about eleventh-hour reform proposals from Greece as they met with Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras in Brussels. The president of the European Union, Donald Tusk, said new reform offers made by the leftist Greek government were the ��first real proposals for many weeks�� from the government, giving hope for an end to the five-month standoff between the Greek government and its EU and International Monetary Fund creditors before a June 30 deadline.

If the talks fail, Greece will likely default on an IMF debt payment of around 1.5 billion euros (US$1.7 billion), possibly leading to its exit from the eurozone. Nevertheless, Daniel Ang of Phillip Futures in Singapore said Iran’s negotiations with world powers over its nuclear program are ��going to give headwinds for … prices this week.�� If Tehran and six powers which want to restrict its nuclear activities reach agreement, the power have agreed to gradually scale back sanctions imposed since 2012 that have slashed Iran’s oil exports.