NYMEX-Crude holds above $92 on Canada-US pipeline closure

SEOUL Thu Oct 18, 2012 8:30pm EDT

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SEOUL Oct 19 (Reuters) - U.S. crude futures held above $92 a barrel on Friday after a pipeline carrying Canadian crude oil to the United States was shut for three days, adding to supply worries heightened by tensions in the oil-producing Gulf region.

FUNDAMENTALS

* U.S. November crude gained 1 cents at $92.11 a barrel as of 0010 GMT, after it settled down 2 cents at $92.10 a barrel on Thursday.

* Brent December crude rose 20 cents at $112.62 a barrel. It settled down 80 cents at $112.42 a barrel previously.

* TransCanada Corp has shut down its major pipeline with the capacity to transport a quarter of Canada's crude oil exports to the United States after detecting a "small anomaly" on the pipe, the country's largest pipeline company said on Thursday.

* North Sea Forties loadings have been disrupted by delays in the restart of Nexen's Buzzard field. Nexen said start-up preparations were underway and production was due by Sunday.

* Goldman Sachs, one of the biggest banks in commodity trading, has called an end to the oil price super-cycle, reversing years of bullish recommendations, citing a rise in unconventional oil supplies in the United States and Canada. Goldman Sachs cut its 2013 Brent forecast to $110 a barrel from $130.

* The number of Americans filing new claims for jobless benefits spiked last week, reversing a sharp decline in the prior week but still pointing to a labor market that is slowly healing.

Other data on Thursday showed factory activity increased in the U.S. mid-Atlantic region during October, although not enough to suggest an end to broader weakness in U.S. factory output.

* European Union leaders struck a compromise on a roadmap to establish a single bank supervisor for the euro zone after Germany and France papered over differences on priorities for overcoming the bloc's debt crisis.

* Tensions in the oil-producing Middle East remain high. Iran is believed to be further increasing its uranium enrichment capacity at its Fordow plant buried deep underground, Western diplomats say, in another sign of Tehran defying international demands to curb its disputed nuclear programme.

* The international mediator on Syria will go to Damascus in the next few days to try to broker a brief ceasefire in the war between President Bashar al-Assad's government and rebels during the Islamic Eid al-Adha festival.

MARKETS NEWS

* U.S. stocks fell on Thursday, with technology stocks hit hard after Google's surprisingly weak earnings disappointed investors. The Dow Jones industrial average closed down 8.06 points at 13,548.94. The Standard & Poor's 500 Index shed 3.57 points to 1,457.34.

* Japan's benchmark Nikkei average opened down 0.43 percent at 8,944.03 on Friday, while the broader Topix shed 0.44 percent to 749.01.

* The yen plumbed five-month lows on the euro and a two-month trough on the dollar on Friday as investors grew confident the Bank of Japan would ease further next week, making the yen more attractive as a funding currency for carry trades.

The dollar index bounced off a one-month low against a basket of major currencies as the euro backtracked to $1.3072 , from Thursday's high around $1.3129.

DATA/EVENTS

* The following data is expected on Friday (GMT):

0200 China Foreign direct investment Sep

0600 Germany Producer prices Sep

0800 Euro zone Current account Aug

1400 U.S. Existing home sales Sep

1930 U.S. CFTC commitment of traders data (Reporting by Meeyoung Cho; Editing by Ed Davies)

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