After hitting a three-and-half-year high, crude oil futures ended lower on Tuesday, as the prospect of global supply disruptions remained elevated amid looming sanctions on Iran and falling Venezuelan crude output. Besides, the United States imposed new sanctions on Venezuela on Monday following President Nicolas Maduro re-election on Sunday - viewed as illegitimate. While the immediate sanctions were aimed at restricting the South American country from selling assets, reports said sanctions on the country's oil industry may soon follow. Meanwhile, investors are awaiting inventories data from the US Energy Information Administration to be release on Wednesday.
Benchmark crude oil futures for June delivery declined 11 cents or 0.20 percent to settle at $72.13 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange. July Brent crude gained 35 cents or 0.40 percent to settle at $79.57 a barrel on London's Intercontinental Exchange.