Oil prices were mixed on Monday as sentiments that fuel demand would recover particularly for the second half of the year raised market confidence although investors are still cautious of extra Iranian barrels flooding the market as a result of the ongoing nuclear talks.
International benchmark Brent crude was trading at $69.13 per barrel at 06.05 GMT for a 0.71% loss after closing Friday at $69.63 a barrel.
American benchmark West Texas Intermediate (WTI) was trading at $66.84 a barrel at the same time with a 0.78% increase after ending the previous session at $66.32 per barrel.
Last week's optimistic projections by both the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) and the International Energy Agency (IEA) over a quicker fuel demand recovery supported higher prices. They forecast a surge in oil demand by 6% in 2021, particularly in the second half of the year.
However, the recent negotiations between the US and Iran to revive the 2015 nuclear agreement and lift Iranian oil export sanctions are heightening investor caution over the extra barrels that Iran will bring to the market.
Markets remain cautious before the upcoming 17th OPEC and non-OPEC Ministerial Meeting on Tuesday when discussions will take place on output quotas and on whether they will continue to gradually ramp up production.
The OPEC+ group had agreed to an incremental production increase of 350,000 barrels per day (bpd) for May and June, and about 400,000 bpd for July in their meeting on April 1.
On April 27, OPEC+ agreed to continue their output adjustment decision given the continuing recovery in the global economy.
By Ebru Sengul Cevrioglu