Oil stays under $107 after US home sales fall

Oil stays under $107 after US home sales fall, traders await inventories data for new cue

Associated Press

BANGKOK (AP) -- Oil marked time below $107 a barrel Tuesday after U.S. sales of previously occupied homes fell and traders awaited a weekly report on America's inventories of crude.

Benchmark crude for September delivery was down 19 cents at $106.75 a barrel at midafternoon Bangkok time in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange.

Oil slid $1.14 on Monday after the government said sales of previously occupied homes in the U.S. slipped 1.2 percent in June to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 5.08 million. Any sign that the U.S. economic recovery is slowing can cause the oil price to fall.

Wednesday's report on U.S. crude and fuel stockpiles from the Energy Information Administration will be watched for confirmation that the recent trend of falling inventories, which suggests stronger demand, is continuing.

Sharp drops in U.S. crude supplies for the past three weeks have helped propel oil to its highest in about 16 months.

Brent crude, which is traded on the ICE Futures exchange in London, rose 28 cents to $108.43 a barrel.

In other energy futures trading on the Nymex:

— Wholesale gasoline added 2.7 cents to $3.021 a gallon.

— Heating oil was almost unchanged at $3.069 a gallon.

— Natural gas gained 2.1 cents to $3.698 per 1,000 cubic feet.

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