RTTNews - Crude oil prices finished below $70 per barrel on Tuesday as traders braced for what is expected to be a bearish inventory report. Lower stocks also raised concerns for energy demand.
Light sweet crude for September delivery settled at $69.45, down $1.15 on the session. This marks the lowest close since July 31.
The EIA report is due at 10:30 a.m. ET. Experts are looking for a build in crude supplies of 1.2 million barrels. Gasoline inventories are expected to drop 1.7 million barels and distilles are predicted to increase 900,000.
Last week's report showed crude oil inventories increased by 1.7 million barrels last week. Gasoline inventories decreased by 200,000 barrels.
The Federal Open Market Committee's two-day meeting began today and will conclude with the rate decision at around 2:15 p.m. ET tomorrow. The Fed is widely expected to keep rates unchanged near zero.
On the economic front Tuesday, the Labor Department reported productivity increased by 6.4% in the second quarter compared to a downwardly revised 0.3% increase in the first quarter. Economists had expected productivity to increase by 5.5%.
Meanwhile, the Labor Department also said that unit labor costs fell by 5.8% in the second quarter following a revised 2.7% decrease in the first quarter. Economists expected a 2.5% drop.
Oil prices finished Monday's session down 33 cents. Last week, crude oil gained $1.43 per barrel, its fourth straight weekly increase.
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