Investing.com - U.S. oil futures swung between small gains and losses on Tuesday, as investors looked ahead to the release of U.S. weekly supply data to gauge the strength of oil demand from the world’s largest consumer.
On the New York Mercantile Exchange, U.S. crude oil for delivery in July eased down 0.09%, or 9 cents, to trade at $102.02 a barrel during U.S. morning hours.
Nymex oil held in a range between $101.88 and $102.42 a barrel. U.S. oil futures rose to $102.49 a barrel on Monday, the most since April 24, before settling at $102.11, up 0.52%, or 53 cents.
New York-traded oil futures were likely to find support at $100.97 a barrel, the low from May 16 and resistance at $104.36 a barrel, the high from April 22.
The American Petroleum Institute will release its inventories report later in the day, while Wednesday’s government report could show crude stockpiles rose by 1.0 million barrels in the week ended May 16.
Meanwhile, investors awaited speeches from Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia President Charles Plosser and Federal Reserve Bank of New York President William Dudley later in the day for clues on monetary policy.
Market players also looked ahead to the minutes from the Fed''s latest monetary policy meeting, due for release on Wednesday, for insight on the central bank''s view of the economy.
Elsewhere, on the ICE Futures Exchange in London, Brent oil for July delivery dipped 0.09%, or 10 cents, to trade at $109.28 a barrel, while the spread between the Brent and U.S. crude contracts stood at $7.26 a barrel.
Heightened tensions between Russia and Ukraine remained in focus, amid concerns over a disruption to supplies from the region.
The conflict between pro-Russian separatists and Ukrainian forces in the eastern reaches of the country continued on Monday, resulting in the death of one Ukrainian soldier.
Ukraine will hold presidential elections on May 25, and concerns persist that Russia will meddle in the voting and escalate the crisis. U.S. and European officials have already warned that Russia would face additional sanctions if Moscow disrupts the upcoming elections.
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.
Meanwhile, renewed concerns over Libya''s oil output further supported prices, following some of the worst violence the country has seen since the 2011 war against Muammar Qaddafi.
Libya, an OPEC member, is home to Africa’s largest oil reserves, but production there has faltered in the three years following the topple of former leader Qaddafi due to political instability and attacks on oil assets.