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May 20, 2021, 2:42 p.m. EDT

Oil futures settle lower as traders assess apparent progress in talks over Iran nuclear deal

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By Myra P. Saefong

Oil futures settled lower on Thursday, down for a third consecutive session, with U.S. prices at their lowest since late April. Prices have declined on the "premise that Iranian supply could find its way back on to the market," said Michael Hewson, chief market analyst at CMC Markets UK. European Union officials reportedly "expressed confidence that a deal could be reached in anticipation that the U.S. could ease some of the sanctions on Iran," and Iranian President Hassan Rouhani has claimed that an agreement has been reached on a number of key issues, although some other smaller issues remain, Hewson said. West Texas Intermediate oil for June delivery , which expired at the end of the session, fell $1.31, or 2.1%, to end at $62.05 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange. Front-month contract prices marked their lowest finish since April 26, according to FactSet data. July WTI oil , which is now the front month, lost $1.41, or 2.2%, to settle at $61.94.

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