Investing.com - U.S. crude oil prices moved lower on Tuesday after official data revealed U.S. retail sales gained for a fourth consecutive month in July and confirmed market expectations for the Federal Reserve to begin scaling back stimulus measures later this year.
Stimulus programs weaken the greenback to spur recovery, which makes oil an attractive buy in dollar-denominated exchanges.
On the New York Mercantile Exchange, light sweet crude futures for delivery in September traded at USD105.93 a barrel during U.S. trading, down 0.17%.
The September contract settled up 0.13% at USD106.11 a barrel on Monday.
The Commerce Department reported earlier retail that sales rose by 0.2% in July, slightly below expectations for a 0.3% increase though an expansion nonetheless.
Retail sales figures for June were revised up to a 0.6% gain from a previously reported increase of 0.4%, the U.S. government added.
Core retail sales, which are stripped of automobile sales, rose at their fastest pace in seven months, expanding 0.5% compared to forecasts for a 0.4% gain.
The numbers prompted investors to trade on expectations that the Fed will begin tapering its USD85 billion monthly bond-buying program either in September or in December and wrap up the program, which has provided support for oil in the past, sometime in 2014.
Losses were limited, as the advancing retail sales pointed to an improving economy, one that will demand more fuel and energy going forward.
Also supporting crude, Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta President Dennis Lockhart said earlier that the U.S. central bank still does not have enough data to decide whether tapering stimulus programs should begin in September, which sent prices jumping in and out of positive territory.
Meanwhile on the ICE Futures Exchange, Brent oil futures for September delivery were up 0.45% at USD108.23 a barrel, up USD2.30 from its U.S. counterpart.