NEW YORK, Feb. 25 (Xinhua) -- Oil prices dropped Tuesday as traders were cautious before the release of U.S. crude stockpiles data on Wednesday.
The Energy Information Administration (EIA), the Energy Department's statistical arm, is scheduled to release its report Wednesday covering U.S. crude supplies of last week.
The market expected that the crude inventories in the United States, the world's largest oil-consuming country, increased by 1. 28 million barrels last week.
On the economic front, the S&P/Case-Shiller Home Price Indices released by S&P Dow Jones Indices showed that U.S. home prices lost momentum in December, with the 10-City Composite remaining relatively unchanged while the 20-City Composite down 0.1 percent for a second consecutive month.
Meanwhile, U.S. house prices rose 1.2 percent in the fourth quarter of 2013, according to the Federal Housing Finance Agency's House Price Index. This was the 10th consecutive quarterly price increase in the purchase-only, seasonally adjusted index.
Moreover, U.S. consumer confidence, which increased in January, fell moderately in February, the Conference Board said in a report released Tuesday.
The Consumer Confidence Index stood at 78.1 in February, down from 79.4 in January, the New York-based research organization said in its monthly survey. The fresh figure came in below analysts' expectations of 80.
Light, sweet crude for April delivery moved down 99 cents to settle at 101.83 U.S. dollars a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange, while Brent crude for April delivery fell 1.13 dollars to close at 109.51 dollars a barrel.