NYMEX-US crude up as cold spell seen draining oil inventory

SEOUL Tue Feb 4, 2014 7:23pm EST

SEOUL Feb 5 (Reuters) - U.S. crude oil futures gained in early Asian trade on Wednesday on the expectation that U.S. oil storage at a key delivery point would show a large drop with a persistent cold snap driving demand for heating fuels in the world's largest economy.

FUNDAMENTALS

* U.S. crude oil futures rose 43 cents up at $97.62 a barrel as of 0016 GMT after it ended 76 cents higher at $97.19 a barrel on Tuesday.

* Brent oil settled 26 cents lower at $105.78, the lowest settlement price since Nov. 8, hit by worries over emerging markets where stocks pared losses but were still down sharply for a second day on Tuesday.

* Traders expected oil inventory data to show that supplies were beginning to drain in earnest from Cushing, Oklahoma, after the startup of TransCanada's Keystone south pipeline as they awaited inventory data from the U.S. Energy Information Administration to be released later on Wednesday.

* U.S. commercial crude oil and gasoline stockpiles were forecast to have risen last week, while distillates were seen drawing down, an expanded Reuters poll of analysts showed on Tuesday.

* Data from industry group the American Petroleum Institute showed on Tuesday that U.S. crude stocks rose last week as refineries cut output, while crude stocks at Cushing declined by 1.6 million barrels, and distillates fell by 1.5 million barrels.

* On the supply side, North Sea crude output at Britain's 200,000 barrel-per-day Buzzard oilfield has restarted and will return to normal levels in coming days, after an outage earlier on Monday, its operator Nexen said on Tuesday.

* Tankers have started loading crude from Libya's 340,000 barrel-per-day (bpd) El Sharara oilfield again after bad weather closed ports in the west of the country, and output should return to normal on Tuesday, a National Oil Corporation spokesman said.

MARKETS NEWS

* Early Wednesday, MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan inched up 0.13 percent, while the Australian market added 0.2 percent.

* On Wall Street, the Dow ended up 0.47 percent, while the S&P 500 added 0.76 percent and the Nasdaq 0.86 percent. The bounce helped pull MSCI's world index from its lowest level since October.

* The euro eased a touch to $1.3510, still dogged by speculation that the threat of deflation might nudge the European Central Bank into easing policy at its meeting on Thursday.

* The pullback in safe havens saw U.S. 10-year Treasury yields shoved up 5 basis points to 2.63 percent. Gold gave back some ground to $1,253.34 an ounce.

DATA/EVENTS

* The following data is expected on Wednesday: (Time in GMT)

0848 France Markit Services PMI

0853 Germany Markit Services PMI

0858 Euro zone Markit Services PMI

1000 Euro zone Retail sales

1315 U.S. ADP national employment

1500 U.S. ISM Non-manufacturing PMI

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