NEW YORK, March 25 (Xinhua) -- U.S. oil price slipped Tuesday as investors awaited the U.S. petroleum inventories data.
Energy Information Administration (EIA), the U.S. Energy Department's statistical arm, will on Wednesday release its report covering U.S. crude supplies of the week ending March 21.
Traders expected that the crude supplies probably grew by 2.5 million barrels last week. The increasing stockpiles weighed on the U.S. oil price.
Also, U.S. economic data came in mixed Tuesday. The growth pace of U.S. home prices slowed in January due to severe winter weather, with the 20-City Composite posting its third consecutive monthly decline of 0.1 percent, according to the widely-watched S&P/Case- Shiller Home Price Indices released by S&P Dow Jones Indices.
Moreover, sales of new single-family houses dropped 3.3 percent in February to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 440,000, the lowest level in five months, said the Commerce Department Tuesday.
Another report released by the Federal Housing Finance Agency showed that U.S. house prices rose 0.5 percent in January on a seasonally adjusted basis from the previous month, slightly better than market consensus.
Meanwhile, U.S. consumer confidence data came in as a surprise on the upside. The U.S. Consumer Confidence Index stood at 82.3 in March, up from the revised reading of 78.3 in February, said the Conference Board, a New York-based research organization, in its monthly survey. The fresh figure beat analysts' expectations.
Brent crude, used to set prices for international varieties of crude, gained slightly Tuesday as reports said Libya continued to have problems in crude production.
Light, sweet crude for May delivery moved down 41 cents to settle at 99.19 U.S. dollars a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange, while Brent crude for May delivery gained 18 cents to close at 106.99 dollars a barrel.