Investing.com - Crude oil prices fell in Asia on Tuewday as support from global tensions dwindled and the market awaited stocks data in the U.S. this week to set the tone.
On the the New York Mercantile Exchange, West Texas Intermediate crude oil for delivery in September traded at $97.89 a barrel, down 0.20%, after hitting an overnight session low of $97.38 a barrel and a high of $98.56 a barrel.
The global Brent oil contract fell 0.3% to $104.68 a barrel on the ICE Futures Europe exchange on Monday.
Investors covered short positions on Monday and bet that Wednesday's weekly U.S. supply report will reveal a solid draw.
A tip on the magnitude of stocks will be seen from industry group, the American Petroleum Institute, which releaes its own data later Tuesday. In its last report, the group said weekly crude stocks fell 5.5 million barrels on the week.
Last week, the U.S. Energy Information Administration said in its weekly report that U.S. crude oil inventories declined by 1.8 million barrels in the week ended Aug. 1, beating expectations for a decline of 1.7 million barrels.
Total U.S. crude oil inventories stood at 365.6 million barrels as of last week.
The report also showed that total motor gasoline inventories decreased by 4.4 million barrels, confounding forecasts for a gain of 0.3 million barrels, while distillate stockpiles fell by 1.8 million barrels, stronger than expectations for an increase of 0.9 million barrels.
Fears of supply disruptions in Russia and in the Middle East waned on Monday, though investors still priced in the possibility that military conflicts could heat up anew.
Russia has ended the military exercises it was conducting near the Ukraine border, which brought relief to global stock markets and capped oil's advance.
Russian President Vladimir Putin said Moscow is working with the International Red Cross to send humanitarian aid to Ukraine.
Meanwhile in the Middle East, a 72-hour ceasefire between Israel and Hamas in Gaza took effect on Sunday, while a U.S. decision to launch airstrikes in Iraq to halt a Sunni insurgency pressured oil lower by easing concerns the conflict would disrupt supply.
Still, lulls in conflicts have happened in the past, and investors priced in the possibilities that flare ups were possible in Ukraine and in the Middle East.
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