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Oil Prices Drift Lower As Traders Weigh Iran Talks

Oil prices steadied on Wednesday after surging to seven-year highs in the previous session.

Benchmark Brent crude futures dipped 0.6 percent to $93.32 a barrel, after hitting as high as $99.50 on Tuesday, the highest since September 2014.

U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures were down 0.8 percent at $91.21 a barrel, after having hit $96 in the previous session.

Supply worries eased somewhat after it became clear the first wave of U.S. and European sanctions on Russia for sending troops into eastern Ukraine would not disrupt oil supplies.

After announcing what he called the "first tranche" of sanctions, including steps to starve Russia of financing and target financial institutions, U.S. President Joe Biden on Tuesday left the door open to a final effort at diplomacy.

There's no question that Russia is the aggressor, but there is still time to avert the worst case scenario that will bring untold suffering to millions of people, the president said in a nationwide address from the White House.

The NATO allies are holding back some punitive measures as bargaining chips.

The likelihood of a return of more Iranian crude to the market also weighed on prices, though the possibility of an imminent breakthrough appears unlikely.

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