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Crude oil futures slip as investors refocus on oversupply concerns

Singapore — Crude oil futures were lower during mid-morning trade in Asia Tuesday as investors refocused on oversupply concerns.

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At 10:27 am Singapore time (0227 GMT), September ICE Brent crude futures were down 24 cents/b (0.33%) from Monday's settle at $72.82/b, while the front-month NYMEX September light sweet crude contract was 17 cents/b (0.25%) lower at $67.72/b.

"After last week's surprise increase in stockpiles in the US, investors are worried this may turn into a trend," ANZ Bank analysts said in a note.

Market participants are likely to look to fresh data from the US Energy Information Administration this week for a clearer direction.

Last week's EIA data showed a 5.84 million-barrel surge in US crude stocks to 411.08 million barrels in the week ended July 13, defying analyst expectations of a 3 million-barrel fall for the week.

"Investors are likely focused on oversupply risks rather than on geopolitical risks, which are traditionally short-lived in nature," said OCBC Bank commodity economist Barnabas Gan.

Geopolitical tensions between the US and Iran had exerted some upward pressure on crude futures Monday, though this bullishness had evaporated by the end of Monday trading.

Iran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei on Saturday backed President Hassan Rouhani's recent suggestion to block the region's oil exports if the OPEC member was unable to sell its crude because of US sanctions.

US sanctions targeting Iranian crude exports take effect November 4, potentially taking more than 1 million b/d off the market.

As of 0227 GMT, the US Dollar Index was up 0.01% at 94.425.

--Jeslyn Lerh, jeslyn.lerh@spglobal.com

--Edited by Wendy Wells, wendy.wells@spglobal.com