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by Stockwatch Business Reporter
West Texas Intermediate crude for September delivery added $1.75 to $90.76 on the New York Merc, while Brent for October added $1.73 to $96.65 (all figures in this para U.S.). Western Canadian Select traded at a discount of $19.67 to WTI, down from a discount of $19.63. Natural gas for September lost 47 cents to $7.59. The TSX energy index added 4.02 points to close at 217.70.
Oil prices had a choppy day, as traders weighed a slow demand recovery in China, the resumption of Iranian nuclear talks and an ambivalent assessment by one of Wall Street's staunchest oil bulls. Data over the weekend showed that Chinese crude imports rallied in July from a four-year low, though they remain weak on a year-to-date basis. Meanwhile, the European Union has tabled a draft text to salvage the 2015 Iran nuclear deal, potentially leading to a sharp increase in Iranian crude exports -- though traders have heard this repeatedly all year, with diminishing interest. Lastly, Goldman Sachs cut its forecast for third quarter Brent prices to $110 (U.S.) from $140 (U.S.), though it said it remains bullish more broadly.
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