Investing.com - Crude futures fell on Tuesday amid ongoing concerns that supply disruptions once feared in Libya and Iraq will never materialize, though reports of skirmishes in Libya brought the commodity off earlier lows.
In the New York Mercantile Exchange, West Texas Intermediate crude oil for delivery in August traded down 1.17% at $99.73 a barrel during U.S. trading. New York-traded oil futures hit a session low of $99.02 a barrel and a high of $101.20 a barrel.
The August contract settled up 0.08% at $100.91 a barrel on Monday.
Nymex oil futures were likely to find support at $99.02 a barrel, the session low, and resistance at $101.20 a barrel, Monday''s high.
Fears that military conflicts in the Middle East will disrupt supplies have waned, sending oil prices falling in recent sessions, and investors continued to allow positions pricing in conflict and supply disruptions to unwind on Monday.
Libya recently struck a deal with rebels occupying oil ports under terms that would have insurgents give up control over terminals that have been closed for a year.
The deal should add 500,000 barrels per day of crude back into the global energy market.
Separately, ongoing expectations for the Iraqi insurgency to remain to the north of the country''s oilfields also allowed prices to drop.
Prices came off earlier lows, however, on reports of rival militia battled for control of Tripoli''s airport, which left soldiers dead and aircraft damaged.
U.S. data failed to bring to offset Middle East supply expectations, as the numbers were seen as lackluster as opposed to robust.
The Commerce Department reported that U.S. retail sales rose just 0.2% in June, below forecasts for a 0.6% increase. Retail sales for May, however, were revised up to 0.5% from a previously reported 0.3%.
A separate report showed that manufacturing activity in New York state rose to a four-year high this month. The Empire state manufacturing index rose to 25.6 in July from 19.3 in June. Analysts had expected the index to decline to 17.0.
Elsewhere, on the ICE Futures Exchange in London, Brent oil futures for August delivery were down 1.10% and trading at US$106.52 a barrel, while the spread between the Brent and U.S. crude contracts stood at US$6.79 a barrel.
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