September 13, 2011 / 1:59 PM / 9 years ago

NYMEX-U.S. crude up eyeing inventories, down dollar

* Brent premium to U.S. crude contracts
    * U.S. crude stocks seen lower last week - poll
    * Coming up: API oil data 4:30 p.m. EDT, Tuesday
    NEW YORK, Sept 13 (Reuters) - U.S. crude futures rose Tuesday as the
dollar index slipped and investors anticipated weekly reports would show
that crude stocks fell again last week in the United States.
    U.S. crude stockpiles were expected to have fallen 3 million barrels
last week, a preliminary Reuters survey of analysts showed on Monday.
    Gasoline stocks were expected to have slipped 400,000 barrels, with
distillates seen up 800,000 barrels.
    The dollar slipped back from Monday's 7-month high versus a currency
basket of 77.784 . The U.S. currency fell against the traditional
safe-haven Japanese yen, edging closer to its record low and raising
expectations that the Bank of Japan could soon intervene to cap the rise.
    Front-month October Brent crude, approaching expiration on Thursday,
slipped in choppy trading as its premium to U.S. crude 
continued to narrow. It was below $23 a barrel after surging to a record
above $27 a barrel last week.
    The possible return of Libyan oil to the market and lowered demand
forecasts from the International Energy Agency helped pressure Brent.
    The International Energy Agency in its monthly report on Tuesday cut
its estimate of global oil demand growth this year by 160,000 barrels per
day (bpd) to 1.04 million bpd and trimmed its 2012 demand growth estimate
by 190,000 bpd to 1.42 million bpd.
    While Brent has been in backwardation, a condition where the
front-month price is higher than months further out, U.S. crude has been in
contango, with higher prices going forward.
    But the spread between front-month U.S. crude and the
next month narrowed to less than 10 cents intraday on Tuesday.
    FUNDAMENTALS
    * On the New York Mercantile Exchange, October crude rose $1, or
1.2 percent, to $89.19 a barrel by 9:46 a.m. EDT (1346 GMT), trading from
$87.81 to $89.93.
    * U.S. import prices fell in August due to lower fuel costs,
potentially giving the central bank more room for stimulus measures to
boost the economy, data showed.
    * Russian oil exports will jump and production will rise as a result of
changes to energy taxes that will help the world's top oil producer keep
its lead over Saudi Arabia, executives told the Reuters Russia Investment
Summit.
    * Tropical Storm Maria had no significant impact on operations at
Hovensa LLC's 350,000-barrels-per-day St Croix, U.S. Virgin Islands
refinery over the weekend.]
    MARKETS NEWS
    * U.S. stocks opened little changed as continued uncertainty over plans
to stem the escalating debt crisis in Europe kept investors on edge.
    * World stocks and the euro fell on mounting worries about European
banks after a report cast doubt on the idea China would provide financial
support to Italy.
    UPCOMING DATA/EVENTS
    * American Petroleum Institute oil inventory data at 4:30 p.m. EDT
(2030 GMT) on Tuesday.
    * U.S. Energy Information Administration weekly oil inventory data at
10;30 a.m. EDT (1430 GMT) on Wednesday.
9:46     LAST     NET    PCT     LOW    HIGH  CURRENT  DAY AGO
                 CHNG   CHNG                      VOL      VOL
CLc1    89.19    1.00   1.2%   87.81   89.93  107,118  349,238
CLc2    89.31    1.00   1.1%   87.94   90.03   45,986  101,915
LCOc1  111.90   -0.35  -0.3%  111.61  113.30   66,884  159,203
RBc1   2.7395  0.0013   0.1%  2.7297  2.7591    7,822   64,154
RBc2   2.7091 -0.0023  -0.1%  2.7019  2.7326    6,511   43,787
HOc1   2.9322 -0.0153  -0.5%  2.9238  2.9654   14,991   58,856
HOc2   2.9428 -0.0141  -0.5%  2.9336  2.9750    6,839   20,946
 * NYMEX crude oil for October rose $1.00 to $89.19 a barrel by 9:46
a.m. in volume of 107,118 lots.
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