Crude oil nipped a five-day uptrend as reports of disappointing US consumer confidence data deflated economic optimism, leading investors to move out of riskier assets. In fresh reports, house price index and consumer confidence came below market estimates and were negative for the economy and oil prices. April contracts closed at US$78.86 ahead of the DOE inventory report which is expected to show a pile up in inventories. The data may have a negative impact on oil prices on account of an overall build up in inventories. The union workers strike at Total SA's refineries in France that seems to be nearing an end also removed a key element of support that had contributed to oil price spike past US$80.