WASHINGTON (Alliance News) - US crude oil slipped to end lower on Tuesday, ahead of the official US crude stockpile data from the Energy Information Administration. Investors also continued to keenly monitor the supply disruption scenario amid the ongoing conflicts in Ukraine and the Middle East
Crude prices were also negatively impacted on news that Libya's Brega oil port is set to reopen following an agreement with striking guards. Meanwhile, news reports emerged that EU foreign ministers have agreed to impose tighter sanctions against Russia, following the downing of a Malaysia Airlines plane.
Investors await the official crude oil inventory data from the US Energy Information Administration due on Wednesday and the American Petroleum Institute weekly oil report due later today, with analysts currently anticipating a drop in supplies.
Light Sweet Crude Oil futures for August delivery dropped USD0.17 or 0.2% to close at USD104.42 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange Tuesday. August contracts expire today.
Crude prices for August delivery scaled a high of USD105.25 a barrel intraday and a low of USD103.90.
Light Sweet Crude Oil futures for September delivery, the most actively traded contract, shed USD0.47 or 0.5% to close at USD102.39 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange Tuesday.
Crude prices for September delivery scaled a high of $ 103.45 a barrel intraday and a low of USD102.23.
On Monday, crude oil futures for August jumped about 1.4%, as fighting in Gaza intensified and sanctions on Russia appeared likely. Russia, a major supplier of crude oil, is under pressure from the US and Europe to foster peace between pro-Russian rebels and nationalists in Ukraine.
The dollar index, which tracks the US unit against six major currencies, traded at 80.78 on Tuesday, up from its previous close of 80.56 late Monday in North American trade. The dollar scaled a high of 80.84 intraday and a low of 80.54.
The euro traded lower against the dollar at USD1.3469 on Tuesday, as compared to its previous close of USD1.3524 late Monday in North American trade. The euro scaled a high of USD1.3529 intraday and a low of USD1.3460.
In economic news from the US, the inflation report from the Labor Department said consumer prices rose a seasonally adjusted 0.3% in June on higher gasoline prices, after rising 0.4% in May in line with forecasts.
Excluding food and energy prices, core consumer prices inched up by 0.1% in June after rising by 0.3% in the previous month. Economists had expected core prices to edge up by 0.2%.
With the rise in inflation due largely to volatile gas prices, it now remains to be seen as to whether the Federal Reserve would take a decision to hike interest rates anytime sooner than forecast.
The National Association of Realtors in its report on Tuesday showed existing home sales in the US to have increased more than expected in June. NAR said existing home sales climbed 2.6% to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 5.04 million in June after jumping 5.4% to an upwardly revised 4.91 million in May. Economists expected sales to rise to 4.99 million from the 4.89 million originally reported for the previous month.
British manufacturing firms were upbeat on the next quarter with expectations for total orders growth at their strongest since 1977. A survey from the Confederation of British Industry on Tuesday showed a balance of 33% expects new orders to increase in the next quarter. During three months to July, the order balance came in at 24%, which was the highest since April 1995.
Germany's leading economic index rose 0.3% in May, following a 0.2% increase in April and stagnation in March, the Conference Board said Tuesday. The leading index for Germany has been trending upward since the end of 2012.