U.S. STOCKS DATA MAY SUPPORT PRICES
Oil prices could find further support from the release of weekly U.S. crude stocks data on Wednesday and Thursday.
Domestic crude oil inventories are expected to have fallen for a seventh straight week as refiners delayed imports to draw down stockpiles for year-end tax considerations, a Reuters poll ahead of weekly supply data. <EIA/S>
The American Petroleum Institute (API) will publish its weekly report at 2130 GMT on Wednesday, while data from the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) will be released on Thursday.
Crude trading volumes remained reduced in the holiday week, with Brent volume on Tuesday 76 percent below the 30-day average.
In Europe, where the economy has been struggling, crude oil supply to the region's largest independent refiner Petroplus may dry up as its lenders had frozen about $1 billion in borrowing allowance, on which the company relied to run its day-to-day business.
The fall in ICE gasoil prices were limited to about 0.05 percent due to concerns over fuel supply.