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Oil prices mixed

LONDON, Oct 2: Oil prices were narrowly mixed on Tuesday as traders tracked eurozone debt strains in addition to financial and political unrest in major crude exporter Iran.

Brent North Sea crude for delivery in November dipped five cents to stand at $112.14 a barrel in London midday deals. New York’s main contract, light sweet crude for November, grew 32 cents to $92.80 a barrel.

“Crude oil prices continue to remain on a consolidation mode, as the market looks overbought while persistent concerns about the eurozone’s economic stability continue to weigh on market sentiment,” said Sucden Financial Research analyst Myrto Sokou.

“Due to the lack of major economic indicators, we expect further consolidation and thin trading conditions across the oil market today,” she added.

Oil watchers were also following events in Iran, whose currency slid between two and six per cent in trading on Tuesday, according to different valuations given by money changers in Tehran and an exchange tracking website.

The rial was between 35,500 and 37,000 to the dollar, depending on the source.

Iran’s currency had already dramatically slumped by 17 per cent on Monday, when a US official said the decline was evidence of the success of the international sanctions over Iran’s nuclear programme.

Iran is suffering heightened geopolitical tensions over its disputed nuclear programme and the effects of draconian Western economic sanctions curbing access to its reduced oil exports.

It is also burdened with high inflation and rising unemployment. —AFP

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