Investing.com – Nymex crude oil prices fluctuated between small gains and losses on Tuesday during Asian trading hours on fears that recent blasts of winter storms have taken their toll on heating oil stockpiles more than anticipated, though reports of increased supply from Libya capped the commodity''s gains.
On the New York Mercantile Exchange, West Texas Intermediate crude for delivery in March traded at USD99.95 a barrel during Asian trading, down 0.11%.
On Monday, the New York-traded oil futures hit a session low of USD99.89 a barrel and a high of USD100.07 a barrel. The March contract settled at USD100.06 a barrel.
Nymex oil futures were likely to find support at USD97.14 a barrel, Friday''s low, and resistance at USD100.75 a barrel, the high from Dec. 27.
Oil prices rose on sentiments that recent blasts of cold air have hiked demand for heating fuel and other distillates, though forecasts for moderating temperatures in the coming weeks capped gains.
Also capping gains were reports of an end to supply snags in the North Sea, while increased exports from Libya to the global market also watered down gains.
Armed protestors have occupied oil facilities in Libya up until recently, and exports from the Middle Eastern nation are normalizing.
Markets were also eager to listen to Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen''s testimony before Congress on Tuesday, hoping the nation''s new top economist will shed insight on the direction of the U.S. central bank''s USD65 billion in monthly bond purchases.
Fed asset purchases tend to weaken the greenback by driving down interest rates, thus making oil an attractive commodity in dollar-denominated exchanges.
Elsewhere, on the ICE Futures Exchange in London, Brent oil futures for April delivery were down 0.08% and trading at 107.76 a barrel, while the spread between the Brent and U.S. crude contracts stood at 7.81 a barrel.