Crude was "holding relatively steady" as fresh Iranian sanctions tussled with global economic worries for traders' attention, said Victor Shum, senior principal of Purvin and Gertz energy consultants in Singapore. "We have concerns about the economy, in particular Europe exerting downward pressure, but supporting oil are the tighter sanctions on Iran from the EU," he told AFP.
European Union foreign ministers yesterday agreed tough sanctions against Iran, aimed at forcing a breakthrough in talks on Tehran's nuclear programme, and also the regime in war-ravaged Syria.
The new sanctions target EU dealings with Iran's banks, shipping and gas imports. Details on those targeted will be released later Tuesday but a government minister is on the new blacklist, diplomats said. Meanwhile, traders were looking to an EU summit commencing Thursday for any breakthroughs on the fragile regional economy as debt-straddled Spain continues to hold off on requesting for a bailout while Greece negotiates for future funding.