* RBOB gasoline dive triggers brief NYMEX trading halt
* U.S. crude, gasoline stocks jumped last week - EIA
* Coming up: US jobless claims, 8:30 a.m. EDT Thursday
NEW YORK, May 11 (Reuters) - U.S. crude oil futures fell more than 5 percent on Wednesday after an unexpected jump in gasoline inventories reported by the government sent RBOB gasoline futures into a tailspin.
RBOB gasoline futures’ 25-cent slump intraday triggered a five-minute trading halt on the New York Mercantile Exchange for the motor fuel, heating oil and crude oil futures, the first such trading stoppage since the 2008 financial crisis.
U.S. crude oil stocks rose 3.78 million barrels last week, above expectations, and gasoline stockpiles increased by 1.3 million barrels, data from the U.S. Energy Information Administration showed. [EIA/S]
Distillate stockpiles fell 843,000 barrels, the EIA said.
Before the release of the data, a Reuters survey of analysts had forecast crude stocks to be up 1.4 million barrels, with gasoline inventories seen down 200,000 and distillate stockpiles up 400,000 barrels.
Crude futures were pressured ahead of the inventory data by concerns about slowing economic growth in China and the dollar’s strength amid continuing euro zone debt worries.
* On the New York Mercantile Exchange, June crude CLM1 fell $5.67, or 5.46 percent, to settle at $98.21 a barrel, trading from $97.50 to $104.60.
* NYMEX RBOB gasoline for June RBM1 fell 25.69 cents, or 7.6 percent, to settle at $3.1228 a gallon, the biggest one-day loss in cent terms since Sept. 29, 2008, when RBOB ended 26.81 cents lower. Trading ranged from $3.0771 to $3.3590.
* NYMEX RBOB gasoline trading volumes hit a record above 240,000 lots traded, according to Reuters data.
* The CME Group (CME.O), parent of the New York Mercantile Exchange, raised margins for NYMEX RBOB gasoline futures <0#RB:> by 21.4 percent to $8,500 per contract from $7,000, effective after the close of business on Thursday. [ID:nL3E7GB416]
* NYMEX heating oil fell 10.11 cents, or 3.32 percent, to $2.9426 a gallon, trading from $2.8911 to $3.0224.
* China’s implied oil demand in April increased 8.8 percent from a year earlier to the third highest on record on a daily basis, Reuters calculations based on preliminary government data showed. But the year-on-year growth slipped after six consecutive months of double-digit gains. [ID:nL3E7GB0BS]
* The U.S. trade deficit widened more than expected in March, as exports jumped to a new record but imports rose nearly 5 percent as oil prices jumped. [ID:nCAT005430]
* OPEC held steady its forecast for world oil demand growth in 2011 and maintained its view that oil supplies are adequate despite the loss of Libyan supplies as its members and rivals pump more crude. [ID:nWLA0072]
* Valero Energy Corp’s (VLO.N) and Motiva Enterprises’ (RDSa.L) refineries in St. Charles Parish Louisiana, west of New Orleans, will be flooded if the Morganza Spillway is not opened, the St. Charles Parish emergency preparedness director said. The Mississippi River Commission is expected to decide by this weekend on opening the Morganza. [ID:nWEN3075]
* Renewed worries about Greek debt and another sell-off in the commodities market drove the euro sharply lower, with more losses likely as investors grow skittish over the currency’s sudden retreat. [USD/]
* U.S. stocks nearly erased a three-day rally as energy and other commodity shares sank. [.N]
* Copper crumbled to its lowest since December, as signs of a growth slowdown in China signaled sustained softness in demand from the world’s largest metals consumer. [MET/L]
* U.S. weekly report on initial jobless claims at 8:30 a.m. EDT (1230 GMT) on Thursday.
* U.S. Energy Information Administration natural gas storage data to be released at 10:30 a.m. EDT (1430 GMT) on Thursday.
SETTLE NET PCT LOW HIGH CURRENT DAY AGO
CHNG CHNG VOL VOL CLc1 98.21 -5.67 -5.5% 97.50 104.60 487,975 439,607 CLc2 98.77 -5.70 -5.5% 98.07 105.16 175,022 148,235 LCOc1 112.57 -5.06 -4.3% 111.95 118.43 274,652 267,712 RBc1 3.1228 -0.2569 -7.6% 3.0771 3.3590 83,512 92,426 RBc2 3.0417 -0.2121 -6.5% 3.0085 3.2404 71,651 64,132 HOc1 2.8983 -0.1029 -3.4% 2.8911 3.0224 56,643 59,458 HOc2 2.9123 -0.1022 -3.4% 2.9050 3.0327 27,243 32,731 TOTAL MARKET VOLUME OPEN INTEREST
CURRENT May 10 30D AVG May 10 NET CHNG CRUDE 922,669 819,697 638,962 1,653,799 8,540 RBOB 241,836 234,979 138,850 290,808 306 HO 117,402 145,023 118,221 307,317 1,623 (Reporting by Robert Gibbons; Editing by Dale Hudson)