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Title: Oil steadies after swings as Ukraine crisis, Iran nuclear talks weigh

Feb 21, 2022 12:45AM ET

By: AnalysisWatch

Oil prices steadied after initial fluctuations on Monday as investors awaited the contrasting scenarios of a shortage of Russian energy supplies due to the Ukraine crisis and a greater amount of crude coming onto the market as a result of a possible nuclear deal between Iran and world powers.

At the start of Asian trading, Brent and US West Texas Intermediate crude futures rose more than $1 a barrel at the start of Asian trading, only to fall nearly $1 after news of a possible summit between the United States and Russia.

French President Emmanuel Macron's office said on Monday that US President Joe Biden and Russian President Vladimir Putin had agreed in principle to hold a summit on Ukraine.

Brent crude futures were at $93.39 per barrel at 0445 GMT, down 15 cents, or 0.2 percent, from the previous high of $95, while West Texas Intermediate crude futures were up 7 cents at $91.14 per barrel, down from the previous high of $92.93.US markets will remain closed on Monday for the President's Day holiday.

Oil markets have been jittery over the past month on fears that a Russian invasion of their neighbor could disrupt crude supplies, but the possibility of more than 1 million barrels a day of Iranian crude returning to the market has limited price rises.

A senior European Union official said on Friday that a deal to revive the 2015 Iran nuclear agreement was "very, very close."

Analysts said the market remained tight and any oil supply would help, but prices would remain volatile in the short term as Iranian crude was likely to return later this year.

European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen said that if Russia invaded Ukraine, it would be cut off from international financial markets and denied access to key exports it needs to modernize its economy.

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