Brent crude trades near four-day high

MELBOURNE - Brent crude traded near the highest level in four days before international talks with Iran on its nuclear programme. China increased fuel prices for the first time since September.

Futures rose as much as 1.6 per cent after gaining 0.5 per cent on February 22. Iran, which is under a Western embargo on its oil exports, will meet the US, China, France, Germany, Russia and the UK, or the so-called P5+1 group, today in Almaty, Kazakhstan.

Brent for April settlement advanced as much as $1.77 to $115.87 a barrel, the highest level since it settled at $117.52 on February 19. It was at $115.84 as of 11:17 am local time on the London-based ICE Futures Europe exchange. The volume of all futures traded was 0.6 per cent more than the 100-day average. The European benchmark crude was at a premium of $21.43 to West Texas Intermediate, up from $20.97 on February 22.

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