The price of oil steadied at less than $79 a barrel on Tuesday, pausing after three straight days of decline.

US crude for December delivery edged up $0.10 to $78.78 a barrel by 06.14 GMT (2.14am EDT), after settling down $1.82 at $78.68 on Monday, reported Reuters.

London Brent crude was up $0.10 at $77.36.

Crude prices have risen nearly 77% so far this year but remain almost 47% lower than the record of more than $147 per barrel attained last July.

Oil has lost about 4% since striking a 14-month high of $82 a barrel on Wednesday 21 October, weighed down by bearish economic data and as disappointing corporate earnings sparked doubts on the pace of a fledgling US recovery, wrote Reuters.

US crude inventories are predicted to have risen by 1.4 million barrels last week, according to a preliminary Reuters poll ahead of American Petroleum Institute weekly data expected to be published soon.