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Oil under pressure on US stance over Iran; dollar strength

[NEW YORK] Oil prices came under pressure in Thursday's early trading in New York as the United States maintained its stance of pursuing a nuclear deal with Iran even as it said it will closely watch the Opec member's actions.

The dollar's strength against the euro, which fell to 11-1/2 year lows, also weighed on oil and other dollar-denominated commodities, traders said.

US crude were down 40 cents at US$51.13 a barrel by 9:20 am EST (1420 GMT), after rallying nearly US$1 earlier in the session. Benchmark Brent crude was up 30 cents at US$60.85 a barrel, sharply paring gains from an earlier high at US$61.57.

US Secretary of State John Kerry said Washington was not seeking a "grand bargain" with Iran, in reference to wider political and security cooperation, and that a nuclear deal with Tehran would address security concerns of Gulf Arab countries.