* Iran meets with major powers on nuclear program
* U.S. crude stocks rose, gasoline stocks fell-EIA
* Coming up: U.S. jobless claims data 8:30 a.m. EDT Thursday
NEW YORK, May 23 U.S. crude futures fell more
than 2 percent and settled below $90 a barrel on Wednesday as
talks between Iran and the West eased supply disruption fears
and as concerns about slower economic growth fueled worries
about curbed petroleum demand.
Iran and six major powers exchanged proposals at talks in
Baghdad on Wednesday, attempting to defuse a dispute over
Tehran's nuclear energy program.
Wednesday's meeting came a day after International Atomic
Energy Agency (IAEA) Director General Yukiya Amano said he
expected to sign a deal with Iran soon to boost cooperation with
the investigation into the Islamic Republic's nuclear activity,
although differences remained.
Also pressuring oil prices was the Energy Information
Administration's weekly report showing rising U.S. crude
inventories and lackluster fuel demand.
U.S. crude stocks rose 883,000 barrels last week, only
slightly less than expected, the EIA said.
Gasoline stocks fell 3.3 million barrels and distillate
stockpiles fell 309,000 barrels, according to the EIA.
Crude oil stocks at Cushing, Oklahoma, delivery point for
the U.S. light sweet crude contract, rose 1.67 million barrels.
Gasoline and distillate demand over the previous four weeks
remained weaker than the year-ago period.
The consensus expectations were for crude stocks to be up
1.0 million barrels, gasoline stocks to be down 500,000 barrels
and distillate stocks to be off 200,000 barrels.
* On the New York Mercantile Exchange, July crude
fell $1.95, or 2.12 percent, to settle at $89.90 a barrel,
having traded from $89.28 to $91.72.
* The World Bank cut its economic growth forecast for China
this year to 8.2 percent and urged the country to rely on easier
fiscal policy that boosts consumption rather than state
investment to lift activity.
* British retail sales fell at their fastest monthly pace in
more than two years in April, after a record drop in fuel sales
and a weather-related drop in clothing sales, official data
* European leaders, meeting on Wednesday and at odds over
how to resolve the deepening crisis in the euro zone, have been
advised by senior officials to prepare contingency plans in case
Greece quits the single currency area.
* U.S. stocks staged a late-day reversal, rallying into the
close as a sharp rise in materials shares boosted the S&P 500
and gains in Apple helped lift the Nasdaq.
* The euro slumped to its weakest against the dollar in
nearly two years on doubts that a meeting of European leaders
would calm fears of a disorderly Greek exit from the euro zone.
* Copper fell in London to a 4-1/2-month low and sank to a
fresh 2012 trough in New York, hit hard by a frenzy of
risk-averse selling tied to global growth concerns and worries
about Greece's possible exit from the euro zone.
* Gold fell more than 2 percent as a wave of selling
triggered by better-than-expected U.S. home sales and heightened
by despair surrounding the euro zone sent prices toward key
technical support levels and wiped out year-to-date gains.
* U.S. weekly jobless claims data due at 8:30 a.m. EDT (1230
GMT) on Thursday.
* U.S. Energy Information Administration natural gas storage
data due at 10:30 a.m. EDT (1430 GMT) on Thursday.
* U.S. Commodities Futures Trading Commission positions data
due at 3:30 p.m. EDT (1930 GMT) on Friday.
SETTLE NET PCT LOW HIGH CURRENT DAY AGO
CHNG CHNG VOL VOL
CLc1 89.90 -1.95 -2.1% 89.28 91.72 264,974 27,362
CLc2 90.20 -1.95 -2.1% 89.59 92.00 45,039 226,226
LCOc1 105.56 -2.85 -2.6% 105.39 108.16 226,352 180,212
RBc1 2.8723 -0.0647 -2.2% 2.8661 2.9465 34,683 39,802
RBc2 2.8015 -0.0577 -2.0% 2.7926 2.8654 70,268 51,838
HOc1 2.8121 -0.0493 -1.7% 2.8033 2.8615 31,726 31,281
HOc2 2.8155 -0.0500 -1.7% 2.8076 2.8655 53,973 44,990
TOTAL MARKET VOLUME OPEN INTEREST
CURRENT May 22 30D AVG May 22 NET CHNG
CRUDE 477,215 433,160 563,241 1,442,523 17,850
RBOB 182,850 134,798 150,051 306,279 -2,252
HO 140,114 118,055 122,286 323,432 4,032