NEW YORK, March 11 (Xinhua) -- U.S. oil price continued to drop Tuesday as trader expected that Wednesday a government report will show U.S. stockpiles increased.
U.S. Crude inventories would gain 2 million barrels last week, according to market survey before Energy Information Administration's report Wednesday.
China's unexpectedly weak trade data in February also weighed on crude prices. Last month, The country's trade deficit stood at 22.98 billion U.S. dollars, with exports falling 18.1 percent and imports up 10.1 percent, missing economists' expectations.
China imported 23.05 million metric tons of crude in February, down 18 percent from a record in January, said Customs General Administration.
The economic data from the United States came out mixed in the day.
U.S. small business optimism continued its winter hibernation in February, with the latest index dropping 2.7 points to 91.4, a reading that historically has been associated with recessions and periods of sub-par growth, said the National Federation of Independent Business Tuesday.
However, the U.S. Commerce Department said Tuesday that the wholesale trade for January rose 0.6 percent from the preceding month, beating economists' expectation of a 0.4-percent increase.
A lingering concern over Ukraine helped to support the Brent crude price Tuesday.
Light, sweet crude for April delivery moved down 1.09 dollars to settle at 100.03 U.S. dollars a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange, while Brent crude for April delivery gained 47 cents to close at 108.55 dollars a barrel.