Crude steadies, trend lower as West hammers out Iran deal

Brent crude oil steadied around $104 a barrel on Friday, near its lowest since early July, as Western powers stepped up work towards a deal with Iran over its nuclear program that could bring some relief in sanctions.

Sanctions have removed more than 1 million barrels per day (bpd) of Iranian crude oil from world markets that are already well supplied and traders say any increase in Iranian supplies would hit oil prices hard.

Diplomats said a deal was far from certain, and it would in any case mark only the first step in a long process towards settling the dispute with Tehran, but an outline agreement could be concluded on Friday.