Oil Trades Near Session Highs As U.S. Extends Sanctions On Iran

By Myra P. Saefong Markets MarketWatch Pulse

Oil futures climbed toward the session’s highest levels Friday, buoyed by news that the U.S. Senate has approved a bill that will extend sanctions against Iran's missile development and weapons program that was not part of last year's nuclear pact. President Barack Obama is expected to sign the bill. "It is clear that this will not help positive developments in U.S. and Iranian relations," said Troy Vincent, oil analyst at ClipperData. And "the potential for deterioration in U.S.-Iran relations puts the future of Iranian crude exports in question once again," he said. January West Texas Intermediate crude rose 54 cents, or 1.1%, to $51.60 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange, near the day's high of $51.66.

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