NYMEX-U.S. crude eases after thin holiday trading

PERTH Mon Feb 18, 2013 9:09pm EST

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PERTH Feb 19 (Reuters) - U.S. crude futures slipped in early Asian trading on Tuesday, after a day of light trading due to the U.S. President's Day holiday.

FUNDAMENTALS

* U.S. crude for March delivery dropped 26 cents to $95.60 a barrel by 0119 GMT.

* Brent crude rose 10 cents to $117.48 a barrel.

* A bearish target of $116.28 per barrel remains unchanged for Brent as a correction from the Feb. 8 high of $119.17 will continue. U.S. oil is expected to drop to $94.24 per barrel, as indicated by its wave pattern, according to a Reuters technical analysis.

* U.S. manufacturing got off to a weak start this year as motor vehicle output tumbled in January, but a rebound in factory activity in New York state this month suggested any setback would be temporary.

* A sharp cut in Saudi Arabia's crude output and exports may support crude prices going forward.

* Major powers plan to offer an easing of sanctions on trading gold and other precious metals with Iran in return for steps to shut down Iran's newly expanded Fordow uranium enrichment plant, Western officials told Reuters.

* Brazil's state-led Petroleo Brasileiro SA was forced to shut down operations for nearly a day at its PPM-1 offshore oil platform in the Pampo Field after an oil leak.

* Egypt will implement its delayed plans to ration subsidised fuel through a system of smart cards at the beginning of July.

MARKETS NEWS

* The yen rose on Tuesday after Japanese ministers played down talk of foreign bond buying by the country's central bank, a day after Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said such a policy could be one option for monetary easing.

The S&P 500 dipped in a late decline on Friday as Wal-Mart dropped following a report of a weak start to February sales, though the index just barely extended its streak of weekly gains to seven.

DATA/EVENTS (GMT)

1000 Germany ZEW economic sentiment Feb

1500 U.S. NAHB housing market indx Feb

2350 Japan Exports yy Jan

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A couple walks along the rough surf during sunset at Oahu's North Shore, December 26, 2013. REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque

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