US crude ends flat, settling at $71.49, as oil fails to hold gains on Iran sanctions concern

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Brent crude oil on Thursday topped $80 a barrel for the first time since November 2014, as the market grew concerned that the Trump administration's effort to sanction Iran's crude exports could be more successful than originally thought.

Brent, the international benchmark for oil prices, hit a session high of $80.50 a barrel on Thursday, its strongest level since Nov. 24, 2014, when it topped out at $80.85. The contract eased back to $79.19 by 2:25 p.m. ET, down 9 cents.

U.S. West Texas Intermediate crude ended the day unchanged from the previous session at $71.49 a barrel. WTI earlier hit a high going back to Nov. 28, 2014 at $72.30 a barrel.

President Donald Trump announced last week he would withdraw the United States from the Iran nuclear deal and restore wide-ranging sanctions on Iran. His administration is gave companies 90 to 180 days to wind down current business with Iran subject to sanctions.
 
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