NYMEX-US crude steadies, support from US pipeline plan, Iran
SINGAPORE, April 18
SINGAPORE, April 18 (Reuters) - U.S. crude prices steadied above $104 a barrel on Wednesday, supported by a U.S. pipeline reversal plan that should help ease domestic crude stocks and lingering concerns over a disruption to Iranian oil shipments.
* NYMEX crude for May edged up 8 cents to $104.28 a barrel by 2320 GMT, adding to gains of more than a dollar the previous session.
* Brent's premium to its U.S. counterpart narrowed to below $14 a barrel intraday after Monday's news that the Seaway pipeline's crude oil flow in the United States would be turned around toward the Gulf Coast as early as mid-May. The pipeline reversal will help alleviate an oversupply in the central United States that has weighed on U.S. crude prices.
* U.S. crude oil inventories rose a larger-than-expected 3.4 million barrels last week, driven by a large gain in West Coast stocks, the American Petroleum Institute said on Tuesday. The EIA releases its weekly crude stocks report later on Wednesday.
* Spain's government must be ready to take further measures to ensure strict budget deficit targets are met, the Bank of Spain governor said on Tuesday, hours after debt costs leapt at a primary auction on sliding confidence in the country's finances.
* The United States will maintain sanctions and other pressure on Iran as Tehran considers what it will bring to the table in the next round of talks over its nuclear program, U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said on Monday.
* The low-yielding U.S. dollar and yen faltered on Tuesday, weighed down by an improving global economic backdrop that spurred investors to seek higher returns in riskier commodity-related currencies.
* Global growth is slowly improving as the U.S. recovery gain traction and dangers from Europe recede, but risks remain high and the situation is very fragile, the International Monetary Fund said on Tuesday.
* Output at U.S. factories slipped in March and builders started construction on fewer homes, offering cautionary signals for an economy that appeared to be gaining traction.
* The following data is expected on Wednesday:
1130 India M3 Money Supply
1430 U.S. EIA petroleum status report Weekly
2330 Japan Reuters Tankan DI Apr 2012
2350 Japan Exports yy Mar 2012 (Reporting by Randy Fabi; editing by M.D. Golan)
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