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Oil unnerved by fears of rising US stockpiles; WTI ends lower

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U.S. crude oil fell nearly $1 per barrel on Tuesday, on expectations that inventories are building and diesel demand is falling as winter weather eases.

Brent crude fell also, though not by as much, as traders weighed more signs of slowing growth in China against persistent oil production outages in Libya and South Sudan that have supported the European benchmark's prices.

U.S. commercial crude oil inventories likely rose last week by 1.4 million barrels, according to a Reuters poll Monday, which would be the second week of gains.

Meanwhile, the severe winter cold that has driven heating oil demand higher and bolstered oil in recent weeks started to thaw, triggering a sell-off in the market, analysts said.

Brent crude fell by more than $1 to float under $110 a barrel, after settling at its highest for the year in the previous session. U.S. oil dropped by 99 cents to end the session at $101.83.

Ahead of data from industry group the American Petroleum Institute released later on Tuesday, a Reuters poll forecast stocks of distillates, including heating oil and diesel, and gasoline each fell 1.5 million barrels on average last week.

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