U.S. oil futures edged higher for the first time in six days on Tuesday, as market players awaited key U.S. weekly supply data 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 rose by 2.2 million barrels in the week ended January 3.
On the New York Mercantile Exchange, West Texas Intermediate crude for delivery in February traded at USD93.72 a barrel during European morning trade, up 0.3%. New York-traded oil futures held in a tight range between USD93.55 a barrel and USD93.86 a barrel.
The February contract tumbled to USD93.20 a barrel on Monday, the lowest since December 2, before trimming losses to end at USD93.43 a barrel, down 0.56%. Nymex oil futures were likely to find support at USD93.20 a barrel, the previous session’s low and resistance at USD94.59 a barrel, the high from January 6.
Monday’ losses came after disappointing U.S. services sector data raised concerns about growth in the world''s largest economy. The U.S. Institute of Supply Management said its non-manufacturing purchasing managers'' index fell to 53.0 in December from 53.9 in November. Analysts were expecting the index to increase to 54.5.
Investors were turning their attention to Wednesday’s minutes of the Federal Reserve’s December meeting and Friday’s U.S. jobs report for December for further indications on the possible timing of reductions in Fed stimulus.
Elsewhere, on the ICE Futures Exchange in London, Brent oil futures for February delivery inched up 0.55% to trade at USD107.32 a barrel, while the spread between the Brent and U.S. crude contracts stood at USD13.60 a barrel.
London-traded Brent prices were boosted amid ongoing concerns over a disruption to supplies from Libya.