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SEOUL Aug 12 U.S. crude oil slipped below $98 a barrel on Tuesday in early Asian trade but the fall was capped by expectations of further draws in U.S. crude inventory.
* U.S. crude lost 20 cents to $97.88 a barrel as of 0002 GMT. In the previous session it settled 43 cents higher at $98.08 a barrel.
* Brent fell 10 cents at $104.58 a barrel after settling 34 cents lower at $104.68 a barrel.
* U.S. commercial crude oil and gasoline inventories were forecast to have fallen in the week to Aug. 8, while distillate stockpiles rose, a preliminary Reuters survey of six analysts showed on Monday. The analysts estimated, on average, that crude oil stocks decreased 2.2 million barrels last week.
* U.S. oil production from the country's fastest-growing shale plays is set to rise by some 89,000 barrels per day (bpd) to 4.37 million bpd in September from a month earlier, Energy Information Administration data showed on Monday.
* On the geopolitical front, Iraq's president named a new prime minister to end Nuri al-Maliki's eight-year rule on Monday, but the veteran leader refused to go after deploying militias and special forces on the streets, creating a dangerous political showdown in Baghdad.
* U.S. President Barack Obama said Iraq had taken "a promising step forward" in designating a new prime minister, vowing to step up support for a new Iraqi government in a widening conflict that his administration had hoped to avoid.
* President Vladimir Putin said on Monday Russia is sending an aid convoy to eastern Ukraine despite urgent Western warnings against using humanitarian help as a pretext for an invasion. With Ukraine reporting Russia has massed 45,000 troops on its border, NATO said there was a "high probability" Moscow could intervene militarily in the country's east.
* Israeli and Palestinian negotiators resumed indirect talks mediated by Egypt on Monday to end a month-old Gaza war, Egypt's state news agency said, after a new 72-hour truce held for a day.
* A global gauge of equities rose for a second straight day on Monday, posting its largest daily advance in four months on bets on a reduced risk of direct conflict between Russia and Ukraine. The yield on benchmark U.S. debt rose only slightly while spot gold prices barely ticked lower.
* The following data is expected on Tuesday:
DATA AHEAD (GMT)
0645 France Current account June
0900 Germany ZEW economic sentiment Aug
1130 U.S. NFIB business optimism July
1800 U.S. Federal budget July (Reporting by Meeyoung Cho; Editing by Richard Pullin)