NYMEX-Crude ends below $89/bbl on Iran, economic worry

Wed May 23, 2012 4:46pm EDT

* Iran meets with major powers on nuclear program
    * U.S. crude stocks rose, gasoline stocks fell-EIA
    * Coming up: U.S. jobless claims data 8:30 a.m. EDT Thursday

    NEW YORK, May 23 (Reuters) - U.S. crude futures fell more
than 2 percent and settled below $90 a barrel on Wednesday as
talks between Iran and the West eased supply disruption fears
and as concerns about slower economic growth fueled worries
about curbed petroleum demand.	
    Iran and six major powers exchanged proposals at talks in
Baghdad on Wednesday, attempting to defuse a dispute over
Tehran's nuclear energy program. 	
    Wednesday's meeting came a day after  International Atomic
Energy Agency (IAEA) Director General Yukiya Amano said he
expected to sign a deal with Iran soon to boost cooperation with
the investigation into the Islamic Republic's nuclear activity,
although differences remained.
    Also pressuring oil prices was the Energy Information
Administration's weekly report showing rising U.S. crude
inventories and lackluster fuel demand.	
    U.S. crude stocks rose 883,000 barrels last week, only
slightly less than expected, the EIA said. 	
    Gasoline stocks fell 3.3 million barrels and distillate
stockpiles fell 309,000 barrels, according to the EIA.	
    Crude oil stocks at Cushing, Oklahoma, delivery point for
the U.S. light sweet crude contract, rose 1.67 million barrels.	
    Gasoline and distillate demand over the previous four weeks
remained weaker than the year-ago period.	
    The consensus expectations were for crude stocks to be up
1.0 million barrels, gasoline stocks to be down 500,000 barrels
and distillate stocks to be off 200,000 barrels.	
                	
    FUNDAMENTALS	
    * On the New York Mercantile Exchange, July crude 
fell $1.95, or 2.12 percent, to settle at $89.90 a barrel,
having traded from $89.28 to $91.72.	
    * The World Bank cut its economic growth forecast for China
this year to 8.2 percent and urged the country to rely on easier
fiscal policy that boosts consumption rather than state
investment to lift activity. 	
    * British retail sales fell at their fastest monthly pace in
more than two years in April, after a record drop in fuel sales
and a weather-related drop in clothing sales, official data
showed. 	
    * European leaders, meeting on Wednesday and at odds over
how to resolve the deepening crisis in the euro zone, have been
advised by senior officials to prepare contingency plans in case
Greece quits the single currency area. 	
    	
    MARKETS NEWS	
    * U.S. stocks staged a late-day reversal, rallying into the
close as a sharp rise in materials shares boosted the S&P 500
and gains in Apple helped lift the Nasdaq. 	
    * The euro slumped to its weakest against the dollar in
nearly two years on doubts that a meeting of European leaders
would calm fears of a disorderly Greek exit from the euro zone.
 	
    * Copper fell in London to a 4-1/2-month low and sank to a
fresh 2012 trough in New York, hit hard by a frenzy of
risk-averse selling tied to global growth concerns and worries
about Greece's possible exit from the euro zone. 	
    * Gold fell more than 2 percent as a wave of selling
triggered by better-than-expected U.S. home sales and heightened
by despair surrounding the euro zone sent prices toward key
technical support levels and wiped out year-to-date gains.
 	
        	
    UPCOMING DATA/EVENTS	
    * U.S. weekly jobless claims data due at 8:30 a.m. EDT (1230
GMT) on Thursday.	
    * U.S. Energy Information Administration natural gas storage
data due at 10:30 a.m. EDT (1430 GMT) on Thursday.	
    * U.S. Commodities Futures Trading Commission positions data
due at 3:30 p.m. EDT (1930 GMT) on Friday.	
    	
        SETTLE     NET    PCT     LOW    HIGH  CURRENT  DAY AGO
                  CHNG   CHNG                      VOL      VOL
 CLc1    89.90   -1.95  -2.1%   89.28   91.72  264,974   27,362
 CLc2    90.20   -1.95  -2.1%   89.59   92.00   45,039  226,226
 LCOc1  105.56   -2.85  -2.6%  105.39  108.16  226,352  180,212
 RBc1   2.8723 -0.0647  -2.2%  2.8661  2.9465   34,683   39,802
 RBc2   2.8015 -0.0577  -2.0%  2.7926  2.8654   70,268   51,838
 HOc1   2.8121 -0.0493  -1.7%  2.8033  2.8615   31,726   31,281
 HOc2   2.8155 -0.0500  -1.7%  2.8076  2.8655   53,973   44,990
                                                                         
 TOTAL MARKET            VOLUME                 OPEN  INTEREST
              CURRENT    May 22   30D AVG     May 22  NET CHNG
 CRUDE        477,215   433,160   563,241  1,442,523    17,850
 RBOB         182,850   134,798   150,051    306,279    -2,252
 HO           140,114   118,055   122,286    323,432     4,032
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