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Crude Edges Up Near $107

The price of crude oil was recovering from previous session's losses Tuesday morning amid continued concerns over tensions between Iran and the West.

Light Sweet Crude Oil (WTI) futures for April delivery, edged up $0.41 to $106.75 a barrel. Yesterday, oil snapped a three-day winning streak, as demand concerns resurfaced after China reported its biggest monthly trade deficit in at least 22 years for February, indicative of further slowdown in global economic growth.

This morning, the U.S. dollar was hovering near a monthly high versus the euro and sterling, while ticking higher against the Swiss franc and advanced near a 11-month high versus the yen

In economic news, Germany's economic sentiment improved for the fourth straight month in March, confirming the positive outlook for business activity, the Mannheim-based Centre for European Economic Research (ZEW) said. The indicator of economic sentiment rose by 16.9 points to a level of 22.3 in March, the highest level since June 2010. Economists had expected the index to rise to 10. Meanwhile, economic expectations for the Euro zone increased by 19.1 to 11.0 points in March. The indicator for the current economic situation gained 0.7 points to minus 48.4 points.

Traders will look to the U.S. retails sales report from the Commerce Department, due out at 8.30 a.m ET. Economists expect a 1.2 percent increase in retail sales and a 0.8 percent increase in retail sales that exclude autos. In January, retail sales rose a less than expected 0.4 percent and sales, excluding autos, were up 0.7 percent.

The Federal Open Market Committee is scheduled to begin a 1-day meeting to discuss the near term direction of monetary policy. The monetary policy-setting arm of the Federal Reserve is set to release a post-meeting policy statement at 2:15 p.m. ET. Economists do not expect any material change in the central bank's stance.

Today after the market hours, the API will come out with its report on U.S. crude oil inventories for the weekended March 09.

by RTT Staff Writer

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