MTECHTIPS;- Oil Continues Higher With Trump/Iran Standoff In Focus

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MTECHTIPS;- Oil Continues Higher With Trump/Iran Standoff In Focus

MTECHTIPS-Crude prices inched up on Thursday, staying within sight of their highest levels in more than three years, as geopolitical tension in the Middle East and concerns about supply disruptions in key oil-producing nations provided support. New York-traded West Texas Intermediate crude futures tacked on 9 cents to $68.14 a barrel by 4:00 AM ET (0800 GMT). The U.S. benchmark rose to $69.55 last week, the highest since Nov. 28, 2014. Meanwhile, Brent crude futures, the benchmark for oil prices outside the U.S., ticked up 17 cents to $74.18 a barrel. The global benchmark climbed as high as $75.47 earlier this week, a level not seen since Nov. 27, 2014. Expectations that the United States will reinstate sanctions against Iran, a major oil producer and member of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC), has helped push oil prices up in recent sessions. The Trump administration has until May 12 to decide whether it will extend the sanctions waiver linked to Iran’s nuclear deal, which would likely result in a reduction of its oil exports. Another bullish factor supporting oil prices has been declining output in Venezuela, OPEC’s biggest producer in Latin America. Venezuela’s crude production has fallen from almost 2.5 million barrels per day (bpd) in early 2016 to around 1.5 million bpd due to political and economic turmoil

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