PERTH, Nov 18 (Reuters) - U.S. crude oil futures slipped in early Asian trading on Monday after a U.S. official said that an agreement to curb Iran’s nuclear program is “quite possible” this week.
Major powers and Iran are scheduled to meet in Geneva on Nov. 20-22.
Sanctions against Iran because of its nuclear program have kept some 1 million barrels of oil off the global market. Any agreement among nations could mean sanctions will be lifted, increasing market supply and depressing prices.
Iran’s chief nuclear negotiator on Sunday signalled there might be a way around one of the main sticking points between Tehran and world powers, saying that while Iran has the right to enrich uranium, it does not insist others recognise that right.
* U.S. crude for January delivery fell 30 cents to $93.54 a barrel by 0040 GMT.
* Brent crude fell 29 cents to $108.21 a barrel.
* Oil prices were suppored by comments from Janet Yellen, likely to be the next Fed chief, suggesting that any tapering of economic stimulus would not be imminent under her watch.
* Libya’s deputy intelligence chief was kidnapped outside Tripoli’s international airport on Sunday, a month after the prime minister was snatched by militiamen. On Friday, some 13 people were killed and more than 130 wounded in fighting between Libyan militiamen and armed residents in Tripoli.
* In Iraq, the government has moved swiftly to restore calm at its giant southern oilfields following violent protests. Schlumberger Ltd, the world’s top oil services company, is expected to return to work next week at Iraq’s biggest field, Rumaila.
* The oil market is anticipating refiners returning from seasonal maintenance to draw down high crude oil stocks after government data showed supplies rose by more than double forecasts last week.
* Asian share markets were consolidating recent gains on Monday, with investors encouraged both by the prospect of extended stimulus in the United States and real economic reform in China.
* The following data is expected on Monday:
0130 China Housing prices
0900 Euro zone Current account
1000 Euro zone Trade data
1400 U.S. Net capital flows
1500 U.S. NAHB housing index