NYMEX-Crude up on Moody's rating on Spain; crude stocks weighed
SEOUL Oct 17 (Reuters) - U.S. crude futures rose on Wednesday after Moody's affirmed its investment grade on Spain, allaying investors' concerns that the euro zone country would be cut to a junk rating, but the rise was checked by higher than expected U.S. crude stocks.
* U.S. November crude rose 38 cents to $92.47 a barrel as of 0007 GMT after it settled up 24 cents at $92.09 a barrel on the previous session.
* Brent December crude slipped 8 cents to $113.92 a barrel after it settled down 40 cents at $114 a barrel previously. Brent November crude expired on Tuesday down 73 cents at $115.07 a barrel.
* Moody's Investors Service kept a Baa3 rating on Spain on Tuesday but assigned a negative outlook, leaving both the rating and the outlook in line with that of rival agency Standard & Poor's which rates Spain at BBB-minus. Fitch Ratings grade for Spain remains one notch higher at BBB but also with a negative outlook.
* A German ZEW index of investor sentiment rose for a second straight month in October, which was also seen as giving support to crude oil markets.
* U.S. crude oil inventories rose more than expected last week, while distillate stockpiles showed a surprise build, data from the American Petroleum Institute showed on Tuesday.
* The market will now await weekly data from the U.S. Energy Information Administration, due out Wednesday at 1430 GMT for confirmation of the inventory changes.
A Reuters poll of analysts showed on Tuesday that U.S. crude oil inventories were expected to have risen during the week to Oct. 12 due to an anticipated rise in imports, while weak demand likely helped boost gasoline stockpiles.
* European Union governments imposed sanctions on Tuesday against major Iranian state companies in the oil and gas industry, and strengthened restrictions on the central bank, cranking up financial pressure over Tehran's nuclear programme.
* U.S. stocks rallied on Tuesday, giving the S&P 500 its best two-day advance in a month as strong earnings from Johnson & Johnson and other bellwether companies raised hopes for the rest of the U.S. reporting season.
* Japan's benchmark Nikkei average opened up 0.87 percent at 8,777.39 on Wednesday, while the broader Topix gained 0.84 percent to 738.55.
* The euro hit one-month highs against the dollar and yen on Wednesday after Moody's affirmation of Spain's credit ratings eased some concerns that the euro zone debt crisis would have worsened had Madrid been cut to junk status.
* The following data is expected on Wednesday (GMT):
1230 U.S. Building permits Sep
1230 U.S. Housing starts Sep
1430 U.S. EIA petroleum status report (Reporting by Meeyoung Cho; Editing by Richard Pullin)
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