Oil hovers below $77 amid mixed signs on economy

Oil prices hovered below $77 a barrel Tuesday as traders awaited corporate earnings reports for clues about the strength of the global economy and the outlook for energy demand.

By early afternoon in Europe, benchmark crude for August delivery was down 18 cents to $76.36 a barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange (NYMEX). The contract rose 53 cents to settle at $76.54 on Monday.

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