Oil prices slid lower on Thursday as a weaker U.S. equity market dragged on prices, offsetting OPEC production cuts and the potential for new U.S. sanctions against Iran.
Brent crude futures fell 27 cents, or 0.4 percent, to $73.09 a barrel by 11:23 a.m. EDT (1523 GMT) and U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude slipped 31 cents to $67.62 a barrel, a 0.5 percent loss.
U.S. stock indexes were down more than 1 percent, pulling oil prices lower. [.N] Oil futures have recently moved in tandem with equity markets.
With the stock market falling, Rob Haworth, senior investment strategist for U.S. Bank Wealth Management, said he would expect oil prices to be lower than they currently are.
"What`s tempering that is this fear ... that we pull out of the Iran deal," Haworth said. "All of a sudden sanctions go back on Iran and then we got even tighter supply in the market."
Iran`s foreign minister said U.S. demands to change its 2015 nuclear agreement with world powers were unacceptable as a deadline set by President Donald Trump for Europeans to "fix" the deal loomed.
Trump has all but decided to withdraw from the accord by May 12, sources said on Wednesday, though exactly how he will do so remains unclear.
Iran re-emerged as a major oil exporter in January 2016 when international sanctions against Tehran were suspended in return for curbs on Iran`s nuclear programme.
Lending some support was the latest Reuters survey that showed the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries pumped around 32 million barrels per day (bpd) in April, slightly below its target of 32.5 million bpd, due largely to plunging output in Venezuela.
Russia on Thursday said its own compliance with a global deal with OPEC and other producers to curb output stood at 95.2 percent in April, with its output unchanged at 10.97 million bpd.
Rising U.S. oil supply also weighed on prices.
U.S. government data on Wednesday showed a 6.2-million-barrel jump in crude inventories last week. U.S. production also hit a new weekly record of 10.62 million bpd - putting it ahead of Saudi Arabia, the biggest OPEC producer and just below top producer Russia.
Inventories at the Cushing, Oklahoma storage hub climbed by about 152,000 barrels in the week to May 1, according to market intelligence firm Genscape, traders who saw the data said.
(This article has not been edited by Zeebiz editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)