US Crude And Brent Fall As Iraq Export Fears Recede


NEW YORK, June 26 (Reuters) - Crude oil on both sides of the Atlantic fell on Thursday as fears eased over export disruptions from war-ravaged Iraq, allowing market participants to take some profit off the table.

Assurances from United Nations Iraq Special Envoy Nickolay Mladenov that Iraq's southern oilfields, which produce most of the nation's 3.3 million barrels per day, remained unaffected, cooled Brent prices. Iraq is OPEC's second-largest producer.

"I think you're seeing some profit-taking. The market's letting some pressure out," said Gene McGillian, an analyst at Tradition Energy in Stamford, Connecticut.

Brent has retreated from a nine-month high of $115.71 per barrel set a week ago on fears that the fighting in Iraq could split the country and hurt oil exports.

Weaker-than-expected economic data from the U.S. pressured domestic crude prices, which had followed Brent's climb, reaching its own nine-month high on June 20.

"The economy is on tenterhooks and oil prices are very high," said Stephen Schork, editor of the Schork Report in Villanova, Pennsylvania. "It's getting to a point where oil is overbought."

Brent crude lost 79 cents to settle at $113.21, its lowest settlement since June 16.


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