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US oil ends lower on trifecta of dollar, Iran, and supply

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Crude oil futures slid to a four-month low on Thursday, pressured by a strong dollar, plentiful supplies and continued progress in talks between Iran and the West over Tehran's disputed nuclear program.

Brent has fallen nearly 2 percent this week, on track for its fourth straight weekly decline. Its premium over West Texas Intermediate, the U.S. oil benchmark, also narrowed.

A move by the European Central Bank to cut interest rates to a new record low helped push up the dollar and added pressure to oil prices. The ECB was responding to a slump in inflation that has sparked fears the euro zone's economic recovery could stall.

Brent extended its losses to more than $2 a barrel to stay pinned under $104. U.S. oil settled down 60 cents to end at $94.20 a barrel, after rallying $1.43 on Wednesday.

World powers will seek to hammer out a breakthrough deal with Iran to start resolving a decade-old dispute over its nuclear program in two-day talks that begin on Thursday.

The dollar rose further against the euro and yen after the U.S. Commerce Department said U.S. economic growth accelerated more than expected in the third quarter. The spread between Brent and U.S. crude narrowed by more than $1 during the session, in what analysts said could also be a currency play.


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