Investing.com – Oil prices edged lower on Monday on expectations for Libya to increase its oil exports, while investors shrugged off a solid U.S. consumer confidence report in a quiet session.
On the New York Mercantile Exchange, West Texas Intermediate crude for delivery in February traded at USD98.65 a barrel during U.S. trading, down 0.64%. New York-traded oil futures hit a session low of USD98.17 a barrel and USD99.39 a barrel.
The February contract settled at USD99.29 on Monday, down 1.03%.
Nymex oil futures were likely to find support at USD98.17 a barrel, the earlier low, and resistance at USD99.39 a barrel, the earlier high.
Expectations for Libyan oil exports to resume to near normal levels sent prices falling Tuesday due to the added supply they’d bring to the global market.
Libyan oil operations faced glitches recently due to protesters disrupting production at various oilfields.
Expectations for increased exports from South Sudan also nudged prices lower.
Trading volumes were thin as many investors already closed books before the end of the year, reducing liquidity in the market and increasing volatility, which helped exaggerate market moves.
Elsewhere, solid consumer confidence data did little to boost the commodity, which was still on track to finish 2013 up around 6%.
The Conference Board reported earlier that its index of U.S. consumer confidence improved to 78.1 in December from 72.0 in November, beating consensus forecasts for a 76.0 reading.
Also Tuesday, the Standard Poor’s/Case-Shiller 20-city home price index rose at an annualized rate of 13.6% in October from a year earlier, the strongest pace since February of 2006 and above forecasts for an increase of 13.0%.
Separately, industry data revealed that the Chicago purchasing managers’ index fell to a seasonally adjusted 59.1 this month from 63.0 in November. Analysts had expected the index to decline to 61.0 in December.
Elsewhere, on the ICE Futures Exchange in London, Brent oil futures for February delivery fell 0.44% to trade at USD110.73 a barrel, while the spread between the Brent and U.S. crude contracts stood at USD12.08 a barrel.