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Oil Futures End Modestly Higher

Crude oil futures settled modestly higher on Monday amid rising geopolitical tensions and on hopes there will some monetary easing by the Federal Reserve this month.

Last week's jobs data has somewhat dampened the prospects for a steep cut in interest rate by the Fed this month. However, analysts are still hoping that the central bank will announce a 25-basis points cut in rate.

The decision of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) and its key allies including Russia, to extend crude output cuts by nine months until March 2020 continued to support oil prices.

A smaller than expected drop in U.S. crude inventories in the week ended June 28 too aided oil's uptick.

West Texas Intermediate Crude oil futures for August ended up $0.15, or about 0.3%, at $57.66 a barrel.

On Friday, WTI crude oil futures for August settled up $0.17, or 0.3%, at $57.51 a barrel.

Meanwhile, there are still concerns about the outlook for energy demand due to economic slowdown and continued uncertainty about China and the U.S. agreeing on a long term trade deal.

Trade talks between the two countries are expected to resume this week. U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin are scheduled to engage in talks with China's Vice Premier Liu He.

Chinese Vice-President Wang Qishan has warned against "protectionism in the name of national security", and called major powers to make more contributions to global peace and stability.

Meanwhile, geopolitical tensions continue to hurt investor sentiment. Iran said on Sunday that it would boost its uranium enrichment, in breach of a cap set by a landmark 2015 nuclear deal.

Iran announced that it had begun enriching uranium past 3.67%. Inspectors from the International Atomic Energy Agency confirmed that Iran had exceeded the 3.67% mark on Monday, said IAEA spokesman Frederik Dahl.

Following this, U.S. President Donald Trump warned Iran "to be careful".

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