Investing.com - U.S. oil futures weakened on Tuesday, following the release of softer than expected data on Chinese industrial production and as investors continued to monitor events in Ukraine.
On the New York Mercantile Exchange, West Texas Intermediate crude oil for delivery in June declined 0.17%, or 17 cents, to trade at $100.42 a barrel during European morning hours.
Nymex oil held in a range between $100.37 and $100.76 a barrel. Futures added 0.6%, or 60 cents, on Monday to settle at $100.59 a barrel.
New York-traded oil futures were likely to find support at $99.71 a barrel, the low from May 9 and resistance at $101.18 a barrel, the high from May 9.
Data released earlier showed that industrial production in China rose at an annualized rate of 8.7% in April, below expectations for a 8.9% increase.
A separate report showed that Chinese retail sales rose by a smaller-than-forecast 11.9% last month.
The Asian nation is the world''s second largest oil consumer after the U.S. and has been the engine of strengthening demand.
Meanwhile, investors remained cautious after pro-Russian separatists in the eastern Ukrainian regions of Donetsk and Luhansk said they may hold a second referendum on joining Russia, similar to the one in Crimea.
The vote has been condemned by Ukraine’s government and the West, which has threatened to hit Russia with fresh sanctions, underlining concerns over a disruption to supplies from the region.
Russia produced 10.4 million barrels of oil per day in 2012 and exported 7.4 million, making it the world’s second largest oil exporter after Saudi Arabia.
Oil traders now looked ahead to weekly supply data out of the U.S. to gauge the strength of oil demand from the world’s largest consumer.
The American Petroleum Institute will release its inventories report later in the day, while Wednesday’s government report could show crude stockpiles declined by 0.5 million barrels in the week ended May 9.
Elsewhere, on the ICE Futures Exchange in London, Brent oil for July delivery shed 0.27%, or 29 cents, to trade at $107.50 a barrel, while the spread between the Brent and U.S. crude contracts stood at $7.08 a barrel.