Channel NewsAsia

US oil steady ahead of stockpiles data, Brent falls

US oil futures barely moved on Tuesday ahead of the weekly US inventories report, while traders watched rising Ukraine-Russia tensions and digested the OECD's lowered global economic growth forecast.

NEW YORK: US oil futures barely moved Tuesday ahead of the weekly US inventories report, while traders watched rising Ukraine-Russia tensions and digested the OECD's lowered global economic growth forecast.

The US benchmark, West Texas Intermediate for delivery in June, added a mere two cents from Monday to settle at $99.50 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange.

Brent North Sea crude for June fell 66 cents to close at $107.06 a barrel in London.

Traders anticipate the Department of Energy's weekly stockpiles report Wednesday to show another increase in commercial oil inventories, after stockpiles hit a record 399.4 million barrels last week.

The market was especially eager to get the gasoline stockpiles data, hoping for a decline, as the US summer holiday driving season approaches, said Carl Larry of Oil Outlooks and Opinion.

"Normally, at this time, we start running more refineries, making more gasoline, more diesel," Larry said. "This is what people want to see."

Markets continued to keep an eye on the deteriorating situation in Ukraine. Russia rejected a new peace initiative and fears of open war mounted in Ukraine, where government forces are battling Moscow-backed militias.

Ukraine is a major conduit for Russian oil and gas exports to Western Europe, and an escalation of the conflict could disrupt supplies and send prices soaring.

Traders digested the latest twice-yearly economic outlook report from the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development that groups 34 major industrialized nations.

The OECD said Tuesday that setbacks for emerging markets and the rising risks of fallout from the Ukraine crisis were holding back the global recovery.

It lowered its 2014 forecast of global gross domestic product growth to 3.4 per cent, from the previous estimate of 3.6 per cent.

Tweet Photos, Videos and Update on this Story to  #cna