US crude ends modestly up, tossed by Fed and Iran diplomacy

Oil rigs just south of town extract crude in Taft, California.
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Oil futures rose moderately in choppy trading on Friday, supported by Libyan supply outages and supportive comments from the Fed chair nominee. However, gains were limited by reports that a deal with Iran may be near on its nuclear program.

Both Brent and U.S. oil prices fell earlier on the reports that a senior U.S. official said a deal with Iran on its nuclear program was `"quite possible'' next week when world powers meet in Geneva. Short covering drove prices higher by the end of the session.

Sanctions against Iran because of its nuclear program have kept some 1 million barrels of oil off the global market. Any agreement among nations could mean sanctions will be lifted, increasing market supply and depressing prices.

U.S. crude for December delivery settled 8 cents higher at $93.84 a barrel. Brent crude, the benchmark for an international variety of crude, was flat under $108 a barrel.

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