“Oil traders are now pricing in the possibility that the EU will join the U.S. in taking a tough stance on Iran, and maybe this time there will be no waivers or a way for Iran to sneak out [oil] supply,” said Phil Flynn, senior market analyst at Price Futures Group.
Reuters reported Monday that EU ministers said technical work could begin on an asset freeze on two Iranians and the Iranian intelligence service over a failed plot to attack a rally near Paris.
Oil traders, meanwhile, also weighed the likelihood that major producers due to meet early next month will decide on sizable output cuts to stave off an expected global glut of crude supplies.
December West Texas Intermediate crude US:CLZ8 tacked on 30 cents, or 0.5%, to settle at $56.76 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange after trading as low as $55.08. The December contract expired at Monday’s settlement. January WTI crude CLF9, +1.63% which is now the front-month contract, settled at $57.20, up 52 cents, or 0.9%.
A sense of oversupply, including in the latest U.S. data, has kept a general downward pressure on prices, which were at nearly four-year highs as recently as early October before a plunge into a bear market.
WTI prices were down 6.2% for last week. A late-week recovery for WTI allowed the benchmark to halt what had been a record 12-session streak of declines, which took it as low as a $55.69 finish on Nymex at one point. It was the lowest closing price for a front-month contract since Nov. 16, 2017.
Read more: Market Watch
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