Investing.com - U.S. crude oil prices fell on Tuesday as investors avoided the commodity before the release of Wednesday's official U.S. supply data, as concerns that demand may be softer than once hoped dampened prices in quiet trading.
On the New York Mercantile Exchange, light sweet crude futures for delivery in September traded down 0.09% at USD106.84 a barrel on Tuesday, off from a session high of USD107.19 and up from an earlier session low of USD105.47.
Recent oil inventory reports have shown that demand has been on the rise in the U.S. in the past few months, though concerns that such growth won't sustain itself reflected in Tuesday's modest selloff, especially in wake of the release of softer-than-expected housing data.
The National Association of Realtors reported earlier that existing home sales fell 1.2% to 5.08 million units in June, missing market calls for sales to rise 0.6% to 5.25 million units in June.
Sales for May were revised down to 5.14 million from a previously reported 5.18 million.
While the numbers painted a picture of a housing sector still in recovery, the figures were soft enough to stoke concerns that headwinds still face U.S. economic growth and may crimp demand for fuels and energy going forward.
Crude supplies in the U.S. are down 27.1 million barrels in three weeks ended July 12, the most in weekly statistics dating back to 1982.
Elsewhere, uncertainty as to when the Federal Reserve will taper stimulus measures kept prices lower as well, as such accommodative monetary programs like asset purchases and portfolio reshufflings tend to weaken the dollar and make oil an attractively priced asset on exchanges denominated in the U.S. currency.
On the ICE Futures Exchange, Brent oil futures for September delivery were up 0.31% at USD108.49 a barrel, up USD1.65 from its U.S. counterpart.