ALSO READOil prices climb after unexpected drop in U.S. crude stocks Brent pares losses, U.S. crude rises on weak dollar Oil flat, heads for weekly drop as rising crude supply weighs Oil dips from 3-year highs but OPEC supply draw supports Oil prices mixed; weak dollar vies with expected U.S. crude build
By Ayenat Mersie
NEW YORK (Reuters) - Oil prices were little changed on Tuesday as investors took profit following last week's rally above three-year highs, with prices supported by growing concern over the potential for supply disruptions.
Brent has risen 1.4 percent so far this month. It hit a peak last week of $73.09, the highest since late 2014, amid mounting tensions in the Middle East, the possibility of renewed U.S. sanctions against Iran and falling output in Venezuela, where economic crisis has dragged down oil output to multi-year lows.
Analysts expected uncertainty over U.S. policy towards Iran to continue to support prices through May 12, the deadline that U.S. President Donald Trump gave to Congress and European allies to "fix" the Iran nuclear deal.
Healthy demand and coordinated crude supply cuts by the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries and several partners including Russia have made oil one of the top-performing commodities of 2018, with a gain of 7 percent, after wheat and corn, which have gained nearly 10 percent.
Bullish enthusiasm over the outlook for oil prices, however, might be contained by an increase in supplies in Cushing, Oklahoma, the delivery point for U.S. crude futures.
"We've seen that front May-June spread in WTI swing back into contango today. And that's somewhat of a bearish...it implies a continued up trend in Cushing crude supply," said Jim Ritterbusch, president of Ritterbusch and Associates in Galena, Illinois.
"There's not much volatility today, as we wait for API and EIA data," Ritterbusch said.
The American Petroleum Institute publishes weekly U.S. fuel inventory data later on Tuesday, while official government data, including on production, is due from the EIA on Wednesday.
(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)