RTTNews - Crude oil finished lower for the ninth time in ten sessions and below $60 for a third day in a row Tuesday.

Light sweet crude for August delivery fell to $59.52 per barrel, down 17 cents on the session. Prices touched as high as $61.46 earlier in the session but later hit as low as $59.15.

OPEC forecast an improvement in demand in 2010, but not as great as the one predicted last week by the International Energy Agency. The cartel expects global demand to rise by 500,000 barrels per day to 84.3 million a day, after two straight years of decline. The IEA projected a rise on 1.4 million barrels per day for 2010 in its report last week.

The OPEC Reference Basket surged almost 20% to $68.36 per barrel in June, the highest monthly average since October. This market a rise of $11.38 per barrel from last month.

The Energy Information Administration's weekly inventory data is due at 10:30 a.m. ET tomorrow. Economists are looking for a drop of about 2.1 million barrels of crude oil supplies and an increase in gasoline stockpiles of 750,000 barrels.

Last week's report showed crude oil inventories decreased by 2.9 million barrels in the week ended July 3, while gasoline inventories rose by 1.9 million barrels.

In economic news, the Commerce Department reported retail sales rose 0.6% in June following an unrevised 0.5 percent increase in May. Economists had been expecting retail sales to increase 0.4%. Excluding autos, retail sales increased by 0.3% in June compared to a 0.4 percent increase in May. This came in below economist estimates of 0.5 percent growth.

A Commerce Department report showed that business inventories fell 1.0 percent in May following a revised 1.3 percent decrease in April. Economists had expected inventories to fall by 0.8 percent compared to the 1.1 percent drop originally reported for the previous month.

The U.S. Labor Department revealed that producer prices rose 1.8 percent in June. This followed a rise of 0.2 percent increase that took place the previous month.

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