Brent crude oil closes above $107 on Greece, Iran

Mon May 28, 2012 2:33pm EDT
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By Christopher Johnson

LONDON/NEW YORK (Reuters) - Oil rose above $107 per barrel on Monday as fears of a euro zone break-up receded, but Middle East oil supply worries resurfaced after minimal progress in talks over Iran's nuclear program.

Opinion polls suggested Greece's pro-bailout conservatives could win elections on June 17, keeping the country in the euro zone and making a swift collapse of the currency bloc less likely.

Fears of a war in the Gulf that could threaten global oil supplies have returned after world powers failed to convince Iran last week to halt its most sensitive nuclear work.

Tension between Iran and the West remains high ahead of more talks in Moscow next month to try to end the stand-off.

In markets thinned by public holidays across Europe and Memorial Day in the United States, Brent gained for a third session in a row, supported by a weaker dollar .DXY.

July Brent futures hit a high of $108.04 a barrel, up $1.24, before easing back to settle up 28 cents or 0.26 percent at $107.11.

U.S. crude oil futures for trade date Tuesday May 29 rose more than $1 to an intra-day high of $91.99 a barrel before closing up 29 cents or 0.32 percent at $91.15. CME Globex will reopen at its regular time of 6:00 p.m. (2200 GMT).

"The latest Greek opinion polls are being seen as a positive and a lack of progress in the Iranian talks have also helped lift the market," said Christopher Bellew at brokerage Jefferies Bache in London.   Continued...

Containers filled with oil cleaned up from the oil spill site are seen at Beilianggang port in Dalian, Liaoning province July 24, 2010. REUTERS/Stringer