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Oil prices rebound in Asia

Oil prices rebounded in Asia Thursday after a sharp decline the day before as traders tried to get a handle on the full implications of Iran's landmark nuclear deal with major powers.

US benchmark West Texas Intermediate for August delivery rose 35 cents to $51.76 a barrel in mid-afternoon trade after tumbling $1.63 in New York on Wednesday.

Brent crude for August advanced 37 cents to $57.42. The contract, which expires Thursday, had fallen $1.65 the previous day.

"Oil prices are trading within range at the moment," said Daniel Ang, an investment analyst with Phillip Futures in Singapore.

"It's a confused market right now, that's why we are seeing rangebound trading," said Ang.

He said the market was "still trying to grasp" the impact of the Iranian nuclear deal that checks its nuclear programme in exchange for the lifting of economic sanctions, allowing Tehran to ramp up crude exports, which have been halved by the restrictions.

Analysts have said, however, that the return of Iranian oil to an already oversupplied global market will not be immediate and that the earliest it could happen would be next year.

The strong dollar has also been keeping downward pressure on prices as oil is priced in the US currency, making the commodity more expensive, analysts said.