Oil bounces on speculation of Iran supporting OPEC freeze action – Reuters

NEW YORK, Aug 23 (Reuters) – Oil prices rose on Tuesday, reversing early losses, after Reuters reported Iran was sending positive signals that it may support joint OPEC action to prop up the market.

Iran, the third-largest oil producer in the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries, has been boosting output since the lifting of Western sanctions in January and refused in April to join an OPEC production freeze plan.

Though it has not officially announced whether it will join a new effort to curb production at a meeting of OPEC and other producers in September, Tehran appears to be more willing to reach an understanding on the matter, sources in OPEC and the oil industry told Reuters.

Brent crude was up 30 cents, or 0.6 percent, at $49.46 a barrel by 12:03 p.m. EDT (1603 GMT). It had fallen 1.4 percent earlier.

U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude rose 20 cents, or 0.4 percent, to $47.61, after reaching a session low of $46.59.

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