Oil prices ease on profit taking

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File photo taken on March 12, 2019 shows operating oil pumps in Luling of Texas, the United States. U.S. oil prices turned negative on April 20, 2020. West Texas Intermediate crude for May delivery shed more than 300 percent to settle at -37.63 U.S. dollars per barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange. (Xinhua/Wang Ying)
File photo taken on March 12, 2019 shows operating oil pumps in Luling of Texas, the United States. U.S. oil prices turned negative on April 20, 2020. West Texas Intermediate crude for May delivery shed more than 300 percent to settle at -37.63 U.S. dollars per barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange. (Xinhua/Wang Ying)

Oil prices fell slightly on Tuesday amid profit taking after rallying the previous day on hopes for a quick recovery in demand in the U.S. and Europe.

Brent crude futures for August settlement dropped 47 cents, or 0.6 per cent, to 74.43 dollars per barrel, while US West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures for July delivery were down 50 cents, or 0.7 per cent, at 72.62 dollars a barrel.

Brent jumped 1.9 per cent and WTI climbed 2.8 per cent in the previous session.

Both benchmarks have risen for the past four weeks on hopes of economic revival and expected pick-up in summer travel on the back of increasing vaccination coverage.

Meanwhile, expectations for an early return of Iranian crude faded after Ebrahim Raisi, an ultraconservative cleric who’s generally hostile toward the West, emerged as the winner of June 18 elections.

He’s due to take over from Rowhani in mid-August.

BofA Global Research raised its Brent crude price forecasts for this year and next, saying the global oil market will continue to be undersupplied.

Goldman Sachs is expecting firmer oil prices moving forward. The American Petroleum Institute is due to release its latest estimates of U.S. crude oil supply data later in the day.

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