* China's inflation lower than forecast in January
* Middle East protests fuel supply disruption fear
* Coming up: API oil data at 4:30 p.m. EST Tuesday
NEW YORK, Feb 15 (Reuters) - U.S. crude oil futures prices rose on Tuesday on lower-than-expected Chinese inflation figures and by unrest in Bahrain and Iran that kept concerns about potential supply disruptions in focus.
Chinese inflation was lower than forecast at 4.9 percent in the year to January, but price pressures continued to build and will force the central bank to stick to its course of gradual monetary tightening. [ID:nTOE71E01Y]
Ahead of weekly inventory reports, a Reuters poll of analysts on Monday forecast that U.S. crude inventories rose 2.6 million barrels last week, with expectations that crude stocks at Cushing rose to another record level. [EIA/S]
Distillate stocks were forecast down 1.0 million barrels while gasoline stocks were expected to show a 1.5 million barrel increase.
* On the New York Mercantile Exchange, March crude CLH1 rose 74 cents, or 0.9 percent, to $85.55 a barrel at 8:22 a.m. EST (1322 GMT), trading from $84.78 to $85.67.
* Police in Bahrain used tear gas to break up the funeral procession of a Shi'ite protester killed in clashes on an anti-government "Day of Rage," witnesses said, and another person was reported to have died. [ID:nLDE71E066]
* Iranian lawmakers urged judiciary to hand out death penalties to opposition leaders for fomenting unrest after a rally in which one person was killed and dozens were wounded, state media said. [ID:nHAF530028]
* Hundreds of anti-government demonstrators and government loyalists fought with rocks and batons in the Yemeni capital in political unrest fueled by the Egyptian uprising. [ID:nLDE71E0SH]
* Egypt's new military rulers said they hoped to hand power over to an elected civilian leadership within six months and insisted they had no desire to keep control following the overthrow of President Hosni Mubarak. [ID:nLDE71E002]
* Saudi Aramco will start storing crude oil in Japan this month as scheduled, with the first ship carrying about 1.9 million barrels of crude set to arrive on Feb. 23, state-run Japan Oil, Gas and Metals National Corp said. [ID:nTOE71E05U]
* Daily crude oil output from nine of the main North Sea streams will rise by 1 percent in March, according to data compiled by Reuters. [ID:nLDE71E1IO]
* The euro edged up versus the dollar on demand from the Middle East and Asia, but it remained vulnerable on scepticism over whether euro zone leaders will agree a solution to the region's debt crisis. The dollar eased against a basket of currencies .DXY. [USD/]
* World stocks held firm as Chinese inflation data eased worries that global No. 2 economy would have to tighten monetary policy. [MKTS/GLOB]
* Gold gained on the back of a weaker dollar. [GOL/]
* Commerce Department issues January retail sales. 8:30 a.m. EST (1330 GMT)
* Labor Department releases import-export prices for January. 8:30 a.m. EST (1330 GMT)
* Treasury Department issues net capital inflows and foreign Treasury purchases for December. 9 a.m. EST (1400 GMT)
* Commerce releases business inventories for December. 10 a.m. EST (1500 GMT)
* American Petroleum Institute oil inventory data at 4:30 p.m. EST (2130 GMT) on Tuesday.
* U.S. Energy Information Administration oil inventory data at 10:30 a.m. EST (1530 GMT) on Wednesday. 8:22 LAST NET PCT LOW HIGH CURRENT DAY AGO
CHNG CHNG VOL VOL CLc1 85.55 0.74 0.9% 84.78 85.58 23,921 383,391 CLc2 89.27 0.54 0.6% 88.70 89.29 20,032 248,656 LCOc1 103.34 0.27 0.3% 103.08 104.04 52,172 191,735 RBc1 2.5212 0.0038 0.2% 2.5161 2.5342 695 37,441 RBc2 2.6629 0.0052 0.2% 2.6593 2.6740 1,115 30,652 HOc1 2.7508 0.0005 0.0% 2.7438 2.7694 2,530 51,866 HOc2 2.7559 0.0008 0.0% 2.7502 2.7735 2,068 29,353 * NYMEX crude oil for March CLc1 rose 74 cents to $85.55 a barrel by 8:22 a.m. in volume of 23,921 lots. (Reporting by Robert Gibbons; Editing by John Picinich)