Investing.com - Crude oil prices eased slightly in Asia on Tuesday on profit taking and ahead of industry data on U.S. stocks expected to show a drawdown in crude and gasoline as the summer driving season starts and a new pipeline makes shipments easier.
On the New York Mercantile Exchange, West Texas Intermediate crude oil for delivery in July traded at $102.08 a barrel, down 0.08%, after hitting an overnighjt session low of $101.53 a barrel and a high of $102.47 a barrel.
Brent oil crude on the ICE futures exchange fell 38 cents, or 0.4%, to $109.37 a barrel on Monday.
Overnight, crude futures rose amid concerns that geopolitical tensions in Ukraine and Libya will disrupt global supplies.
Geopolitical concerns sent oil prices rising on fears supply from two key markets, Russia and Libya, may face disruptions.
Ukrainian forces and pro-Russian separatists in the eastern reaches of the country continued to clash on Monday, resulting in the death of one Ukrainian soldier.
Ukraine will hold elections on May 25, and concerns persist that Russia will meddle in the voting and escalate the crisis and affect shipments out of Russia, the world''s second-largest exporter after Saudi Arabia.
Elsewhere, tensions in Libya flared after gunmen stormed parliament on Sunday in some of the worst violence the country has seen since the 2011 war that ousted Muammar Qaddafi.
Geopolitical concerns also softened the dollar by stoking concerns the U.S. may become deeper involved in the Ukraine crisis and risk seeing recovery suffer as a result.
A softer greenback makes oil an attractively-priced commodity on dollar-denominated exchanges.
Elsewhere, oil continued to rise on upbeat data out of the U.S. housing sector last week.
The Census Bureau reported late last week that U.S. building permits rose 8% to 1.080 million units last month, up from an upwardly revised 1.000 million in March. Analysts were expecting building permits to rise to 1.010 million units in April.
The report also showed that housing starts rose to 1.072 million units in April from 947,000 in March, whose figure was revised up from a previously estimated 946,000.
April''s number far surpassed analysts'' forecasts for a 980,000 reading.
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