After edging higher in the previous two sessions, oil prices drifted lower on Tuesday, as traders looked ahead to crude oil inventory data for further direction.
U.S. crude inventory data from the American Petroleum Institute is due at 4.30 PM ET today. The official data on U.S. crude stockpiles will be released by the Energy Information Administration at 10:30 AM ET, on Wednesday.
The drop in oil prices can be attributed to a recent report from and OPEC and non-OPEC monitoring committee which said crude oil producers increased their output in July.
Crude oil price movements were somewhat sluggish today, with traders weighing the U.S.-Mexico trade pact, a weaker greenback, the impact of sanctions against Iran and possibilities of supply disruptions in Libya and Venezuela.
Crude oil futures for October ended down $0.34, or 0.5%, at $68.53 a barrel.
On Monday, crude oil futures ended up $0.15, or 0.20%, at $68.87, the highest close in three weeks.
U.S. crude stockpiles saw a larger than expected decline in the week ended August 17, according to data released by the Energy Information Administration on August 22. The report showed U.S. crude inventories to have dropped by 5.836 million barrels in the week ended August 17, substantially higher than expected draw of 1.497 million barrels.
Crude Imports fell by about 1.059 million barrels a day, while exports fell by 2.58 million barrels per day, data from EIA showed.