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Oil prices settle mixed amid demand worries

NEW YORK, July 26 (Xinhua) -- Oil prices settled mixed on Monday as demand concerns returned to the market.

The West Texas Intermediate for September delivery lost 16 cents to settle at 71.91 U.S. dollars a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange. Brent crude for September delivery increased 40 cents to close at 74.50 dollars a barrel on the London ICE Futures Exchange.

"Renewed concerns about demand due to the spread of the Delta variant of coronavirus" weighed on the market, Carsten Fritsch and Eugen Weinberg, energy analysts at Commerzbank Research, said in a note.

Meanwhile, oil prices garnered some support from a weaker U.S. dollar. The dollar index, which measures the greenback against six major peers, decreased 0.28 percent to 92.6487 in late trading on Monday. Historically, the price of oil is inversely related to the price of the U.S. dollar.

For the week ending Friday, the U.S. crude benchmark and Brent both climbed 0.7 percent, based on the front-month contracts.

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