Crude oil futures ended almost flat on Thursday amid expectations that the US sanctions on Iran would cut global crude supplies, extending a rally in oil prices. Ahead of the re-imposition of US sanctions on Iran - expected to take place in two separate waves - on August 06 and November 05, market participants continued to expect the sanctions would cut Iran's oil exports enough to suppress global crude supplies despite a lack of support from the EU and China. Besides, there are reports that the European Commission is working on a law that bans European companies and courts from complying with US sanctions against Iran.
Benchmark crude oil futures for June delivery settled unchanged at $71.49 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange. July Brent crude inched up 2 cents or 0.37 percent to settle at $79.30 a barrel on London's Intercontinental Exchange.