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Oil Holds Gains as Traders Weigh Iran Talks, Demand Outlook

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Oil held its biggest gain in more than a week as investors monitor US-Iran nuclear talks and the outlook for demand amid an economic slowdown.

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(Bloomberg) — Oil held its biggest gain in more than a week as investors monitor US-Iran nuclear talks and the outlook for demand amid an economic slowdown. 

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West Texas Intermediate futures slipped 0.2% after Monday’s 2% rally saw some bullish sentiment return after a recent rout. Uncertainty around Iranian supply aided crude’s drift higher with a conclusion to the long-running nuclear talks edging closer after European Union diplomats presented the US and Iran with a final draft accord to revive the 2015 deal. 

Traders will also monitor demand as data released over the weekend showed China’s imports of crude rose in July from the lowest in four years, while declining retail gasoline prices in the US may encourage consumers to drive more.

Nevertheless, oil remains less than $5 above a six-month low and thin volumes are likely to keep prices volatile. Prices may continue to weaken before rallying in winter as the US winds down releases from strategic stockpiles and an EU embargo on Russian supplies takes effect, Energy Aspects said Monday.  

A deluge of market commentary is expected this week, with the US Energy Information Administration set to issue its short-term outlook later Tuesday, followed by monthly snapshots from producer group OPEC and the International Energy Agency on Thursday.

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