Oil dropped from a three-week high as Iran repeated its goal of boosting crude exports after sanctions on the nation are lifted.
Futures slipped 3.4 percent in New York. Iran’s priority is to boost shipments to pre-sanction levels, Oil Minister Bijan Namdar Zanganeh said, according to the state-backed IRNA news agency. Commodities tumbled amid fresh concerns about Chinese economic growth as the Shanghai Composite Index fell the most in a month.
WTI for February delivery slipped $1.29 to settle at $36.81 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange. Prices rose 1.6 percent to $38.10 on Thursday, the highest since Dec. 4. Trading was closed Friday for the Christmas holiday. The volume of all New York oil futures traded was 58 percent below the 100-day average at 2:50 p.m.
Brent for February settlement fell $1.27, or 3.4 percent, to end the session at $36.62 a barrel on the London-based ICE Futures Europe exchange. Prices touched $35.98 on Dec. 22, the lowest since 2004. The European benchmark crude closed at a 19-cent discount to WTI.
Chinese equities fell as industrial company profits declined and concern grew a new system for initial public offerings will damp demand for existing equities. China is the world’s biggest energy consumer.