RTTNews - Oil prices turned sharply lower on Tuesday as profit-takers collected on a rally to a 10-month high to $75 per barrel. Traders looked ahead to the Energy Information Administration's weekly inventory report.

Light sweet crude for October delivery dropped to $72.05, losing $2.32 on the session. Earlier, oil hit $75 for the first time since October.

The EIA's petroleum inventory data is due at 10:30 a.m. ET on Wednesday. Experts are predicting a decline in crude oil supplies of 2.7 million barrels in the week ended August 21. Gasoline stockpiles are expected to fall 1.5 million barrels and distillates are predicted to drop 700,000 barrels.

The lesser-watched American Petroleum Institute report is due later this afternoon.

Oil's hedge appeal was lowered as the dollar recouped early losses against other majors. The greenback remained slightly lower against the euro after earlier testing a 2 1/2-week low.

On the economic front, the S&P/Case-Shiller 20-City Composite Home Price Index fell at an annual rate of 15.4 percent in June compared to a revised 17 percent drop in May. Economists had expected prices to fall 16.4 percent compared to the same month a year ago.

The Conference Board reported its consumer confidence index rose to 54.1 in August. A reading of 48.0 was expected, compared to 46.6 in July.

Traders also reacted to President Obama's nomination of Ben Bernanke to a second term as Federal Reserve Bank Chairman, giving a vote of confidence to the banking system's chief regulator for the way he responded to the financial crisis.

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