SINGAPORE, Feb 27 (BSS/AFP) - Oil prices were lower in Asian trade today as traders took profits from last week's gains, while concerns over crude producer Iran's nuclear programme remain, analysts said.
New York's main contract, light sweet crude for delivery in
April, shed 23 cents to $109.54, while Brent North Sea crude for
April delivery was down 14 cents to $125.33 in morning trade.
"Prices are essentially holding quite steady, but we are
seeing a slight pullback in oil prices due to some profit-
taking," said Victor Shum, senior principal at Purvin and Gertz
international energy consultants in Singapore.
"Prices continued to be primarily driven by concerns over
Iran and the IAEA report released last week," he told AFP.
The UN atomic agency on Friday said it had "major
differences" with Iran and "major concerns" about its nuclear
programme, after inspectors returned empty-handed from a trip to
In a report on the trip to probe weapon works in Iran, the
International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) said it continues to
have serious concerns regarding possible military dimensions to
the country's nuclear programme.
Tehran, which has been hit by a raft of economic sanctions
by the United States, United Nations and the European Union over
its refusal to halt uranium enrichment activities, insists its
nuclear programme is solely for peaceful purposes.
Iran's military and political leaders had earlier warned
they could close the Strait of Hormuz -- a key transit route for
global oil supplies -- if increased Western sanctions halt
Iranian oil exports.