A strong US currency has also made the dollar-priced commodity more expensive, denting demand, analysts said. US benchmark West Texas Intermediate for August delivery fell 75 cents to USD 51.45 and Brent crude for August eased 60 cents to USD 57.25 in afternoon Asian trade.

"It seems that a deal is already in the final stages of being signed," said Daniel Ang, an investment analyst with Phillip Futures in Singapore, referring to long-running talks between Iran and major Western powers in Vienna. "This is probably the biggest issue for the week for the oil market," he told reporters.

The intense negotiations in the Austrian capital ran into the early hours today as signs emerged that an agreement is close. Foreign ministers of the six powers were to hold what is expected to be the final meeting this morning ahead of a planned announcement that would bring to a close an 18-day push to strike an accord.

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