By Amanda Cooper
LONDON (Reuters) - Oil steadied on Tuesday as investors took profit on last week's rally above three-year highs, with prices supported by growing concern over the potential for supply disruptions.
"If we were going to see a move higher, we'd have to see some sort of macro stimulus as the fundamentals right now are pretty mixed."
Brent has risen 1.5 percent so far this month. It hit a peak of $73.09, the highest since late 2014, on mounting tensions in the Middle East, the possibility of renewed U.S. sanctions against Iran and falling output in Venezuela, where economic crisis has cut oil output to multi-year lows.
"With so many potential supply disruptors in play and few signs that the current market upheaval will end any time soon, traders continue to pay the geopolitical risk premium," said Stephen Innes, head of trading for Asia-Pacific at futures brokerage OANDA in Singapore.
"Oil prices should remain bid ... at least through the Iran nuclear deal deadline (May 12) if not for the remainder of 2018," he added.
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 8 percent, after wheat and corn, which have gained nearly 10 percent.
However, the physical markets, particularly in the Atlantic Basin, are suffering from seasonal weakness that has pulled some grades to multi-month lows.
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.
(Additional reporting by Henning Gloystein in Singapore; Editing by Dale Hudson/David Evans)
(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)