* Libyan crude shipments almost halted, keeps losses slim
* CME raises margins for U.S. crude futures
* Dollar, global equities rise on Saudi move
* Coming up: Reuters/UMichigan consumer sentiment Friday
NEW YORK, Feb 25 (Reuters) - U.S. crude oil futures fell back on Friday following news that Saudi Arabia had raised production but investors remained concerned about the Libyan supply shortfall, limiting losses.
Saudi Arabia has increased its oil production by more than 700,000 barrels per day to more than 9 million bpd to compensate for disruption to Libyan output, an industry source familiar with the kingdom’s production told Reuters. [ID:nLDE71O102]
Oil shipments from Libya have almost halted because of reduced production and continuing violence while rebels were reported in control of nearly all oil fields east of the Libyan town of Ras Lanuf.
The dollar and global equities rose on news about Saudi production.
On Thursday, a late sell-off triggered by a rumor that Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi had been shot pulled down NYMEX crude. There has been no indication of where the rumor had started or any news report to substantiate it.
* On the New York Mercantile Exchange, crude for April delivery CLJ1 at 8:15 a.m. EST (1315 GMT) was down 50 cents, or 0.51 percent, at $96.78 a barrel, after trading from $96.39 to $99.20. It hit $103.41 on Thursday, the highest since Sept. 29, 2008 before plunging at the close.
* In London, ICE Brent for April delivery LCOJ1 was up 30 cents, or 0.27 percent, at $111.66 a barrel, trading from $110.52 to $113.91. On Thursday, it soared to $119.79, the highest since the Aug. 22, 2008, before retreating near the close.
* Crude oil shipments from Libya, the world’s 12th-largest exporter, have almost halted because of reduced production, a lack of staff at ports and security concerns, industry sources said. Libya normally exports 1.3 million barrels per day of its 1.6 million-bpd production. [ID:nLDE71O19F]
* Rebels are in control of nearly all oil fields east of the Libyan town of Ras Lanuf, with fields and oil terminals still working at 25 percent capacity, a petroleum engineer who is a member of Benghazi’s interim leadership said on Friday. [ID:nLDE71O14J]
* Thousands of Iraqis took to the streets on Friday to protest against corruption and a lack of basic services in an organized nationwide “Day of Rage” inspired by uprisings around the Arab world. [ID:nLDE71O11X]
* The CME Group (CME.O) raised margins on U.S. crude oil futures CLc1 by 20 percent, with margins for hedgers and members of NYMEX increased to $4,500 from $3,750. On the IntercontinentalExchange (ICE.N), margins on Brent crude futures LCOc1 will be raised to $5,200 from $4,850, a 7 percent increase. The changes are effective Friday. [ID:nN24123360]
* China’s banking regulator has drawn up a tough new set of capital requirement rules as part of efforts to implement Basel III guidelines, according to a document obtained by Reuters on Friday. [ID:nTOE71O05U]
* U.S. stocks index futures rose after a week-long sell-off, adding to a late rebound in the previous session as oil prices stabilized. [.N]
* Global stocks rose on news that Saudi Arabia had raised supplies, though worries that pricey oil may threatened global growth kept gains in check. MKTS/GLOB]
* Dollar edged up as as oil prices retreated from their recent highs on easing concerns about tensions in Libya and as investors squared positions ahead of the weekend. The dollar was up 0.15 percent versus a basket of currencies.[USD/] .DXY
* Copper edged up as positive U.S. data on jobless claims released Thursday supported sentiment but concerns remained about fresh interest rates increases in China which may slow economic growth and hit demand for metals. [ID:nLDE71O0P5]
* Reuters/University of Michigan U.S. consumer sentiment for February, 9:55 a.m. EST (1455 GMT) on Friday. 8:20 LAST NET PCT LOW HIGH CURRENT DAY AGO
CHNG CHNG VOL VOL CLc1 97.08 -0.20 -0.2% 96.39 99.20 51,319 489,667 CLc2 98.66 -0.08 -0.1% 98.01 100.67 12,442 167,464 LCOc1 111.83 0.43 0.4% 110.52 113.91 69,412 305,885 RBc1 2.7305 0.0138 0.5% 2.7038 2.7532 633 27,674 RBc2 2.8872 0.0123 0.4% 2.8605 2.9159 2,205 48,928 HOc1 2.8906 0.0133 0.5% 2.8699 2.9301 313 29,336 HOc2 2.9021 0.0089 0.3% 2.8766 2.9478 3,341 53,273 * NYMEX crude oil for April CLc1 fell 20 cents to $97.08 a barrel by 8:20 a.m. in volume of 51,319 lots. (Reporting by Gene Ramos; Editing by Lisa Shumaker)