* Kuwait oil minister says OPEC considering output boost
* Crude oil stocks expected to have risen last week - poll
* Coming up: API oil data at 4:30 p.m. EST Tuesday
NEW YORK, March 8 U.S. crude oil futures prices edged lower
and Brent prices fell on Tuesday after Kuwait's oil minister said OPEC was
considering raising output in order to make up any supply disrupted by
While U.S. crude slipped, prices had bounced well above its early low
under $104 a barrel, while Brent crude remained more than $1 lower, as the
spread between the two contracts continued to narrow.
Brent's premium to its U.S. counterpart CL-LCO1=R had fallen $1.19
cents to $8.56 at 8:33 a.m. EST (1333 GMT), having narrowed from a record
above $17 hit last week, according to Reuters data.
In addition to Libya's ongoing conflict that has sent U.S. crude prices
to their highest since September 2008, investors continue to fret about
potential supply disruption in the Middle East as unrest and protests
Investors will get the first snapshot of where U.S. oil inventories
stood at the end of last week on Tuesday. A Reuters analyst survey on
Monday yielded a forecast for crude stocks to be up slightly, with
distillate and gasoline stocks expected to have fallen last week. [EIA/S]
The industry group American Petroleum Institute (API) will issue its
weekly oil inventory report at 4:30 p.m. EST (2130 GMT) on Tuesday,
followed by the government's data from the U.S. Energy Information
Administration on Wednesday, at 10:30 a.m. EST (1530 GMT).
* On the New York Mercantile Exchange, April crude CLJ1 fell 11
cents, or 0.11 percent, to $105.33 a barrel at 8:42 a.m. EST (1342 GMT),
trading from $103.33 to $105.47.
* OPEC is in consultations regarding a potential boost in oil output
but hasn't decided whether to approve one, Kuwait's Oil Minister said.
* There are no plans for an extraordinary OPEC meeting at this time,
despite continuing unrest in the Middle East, Algeria's minister of energy
and mines Yousef Yousfi told Reuters Insider on Monday. [ID:nN0798073]
* OPEC members are joining Saudi Arabia in raising output to cool
soaring prices and allay fears of a supply crunch, the Financial Times
newspaper reported. [ID:nL3E7E8071]
* There is no need for OPEC to boost oil production because consumer
worries over supply are mostly "psychological" and not based on any real
shortage in the market, Iran's OPEC governor Mohammad Ali Khatibi said.
* Libyan warplanes struck at rebel forces behind the war's eastern
front lines, stepping up the government offensive to roll back early rebel
gains in the insurrection against Muammar Gaddafi. Reuters correspondents
reported at least four air strikes near rebel positions in and around the
oil town of Ras Lanuf. [ID:nLDE72701U]
* Oil fell from recent highs after Kuwait's oil minister said OPEC was
in talks to boost production for the first time in more than two years,
prompting some recovery on equity markets. [MKTS/GLOB]
* Gold was supported near $1,430 an ounce by violence in North Africa
but struggled for traction in the face of retreating crude prices and
profit taking from Monday's record highs. [GOL/]
* The euro slipped versus the dollar, pausing from a rally spurred by
expectations of a euro zone interest rate rise and capped by fresh concerns
about euro zone debt problems. [FRX/]
* Copper fell to a two-week low and other metals hit their lowest since
the end of January as the Libyan crisis fed investor worries over high oil
prices and their effect on global economic recovery. [MET/L]
* American Petroleum Institute oil inventory data released at 4:30 p.m.
EST (2130 GMT) on Tuesday.
* U.S. Energy Information Administration oil inventory data to be
released at 10:30 a.m. EST (1530 GMT).
8:42 LAST NET PCT LOW HIGH CURRENT DAY AGO
CHNG CHNG VOL VOL
CLc1 105.33 -0.11 -0.1% 103.33 105.47 74,165 369,148
CLc2 106.65 -0.08 -0.1% 104.65 106.78 25,737 127,363
LCOc1 113.87 -1.18 -1.0% 112.79 115.29 79,710 205,260
RBc1 2.9818 -0.0203 -0.7% 2.9635 3.0105 3,524 34,950
RBc2 2.9915 -0.0204 -0.7% 2.9758 3.0177 2,518 16,996
HOc1 3.0311 -0.0330 -1.1% 3.0130 3.0712 5,089 51,620
HOc2 3.0427 -0.0332 -1.0% 3.0227 3.0802 2,895 19,514
* NYMEX crude oil for April CLc1 fell 11 cents to $105.33 a barrel by
8:42 a.m. in volume of 74,165 lots.
(Reporting by Robert Gibbons; Editing by John Picinich)