* Hess shutting New Jersey refinery, gasoline futures surge
* U.S. durable goods boost, home sales data weighs on oil
* U.S. Fed FOMC two-day meeting on Tuesday-Wednesday
* Coming up: API oil inventory data 4:30 p.m. EST Tuesday
(Updates with settlement prices, changes byline)
By Gabriel Debenedetti
NEW YORK, Jan 28 Oil prices rose on Monday, led
by a 2 percent gain in U.S. gasoline following news that Hess
Corp will close a New Jersey refinery, tightening
supplies in the giant Northeast gasoline market.
Front-month U.S. February gasoline futures, set to
expire on Thursday, surged 2 percent on news that Hess plans to
close the 70,000 barrel-per-day refinery in Port Reading, New
Jersey, by the end of February.
The loss of the plant, the latest in the region to fall
victim to poor profits, tightened the supply outlook for the
Northeast, which will likely have to rely more on imports and
supplies from the Gulf Coast, according to analysts.
Crude also got a lift from U.S. government durable goods
data showing new orders jumped 4.6 percent last month, more than
expected. Gains were limited by a separate report showing
pending home sales fell 4.3 percent in December.
Oil traders have been closely watching macro economic data
for signs of improvement that could bolster fuel demand.
"Crude got a boost from the durable goods but the home sales
number disappointed," said Phil Flynn, analyst at Price Futures
Group in New York.
The oil futures complex kept drawing support from turmoil in
Africa and the Middle East, getting an additional boost from
news of an attack on an oil pipeline in Algeria by suspected
Brent March crude rose 20 cents to settle at $113.48
a barrel, having swung from $112.60 to $113.80. The $113.80
session peak was 4 cents below Friday's session high.
U.S. March crude rose 56 cents to settle at $96.44 a
Front-month February U.S. RBOB gasoline rose
5.94 cents, or 2.07 percent, to settle at $2.9348 a gallon,
having pushed as high as $2.9442 during the session.
U.S. February heating oil rose only 0.48 cent,
to settle at $3.0616 a gallon.
The February refined products expire on Thursday.
AWAITING FEDERAL RESERVE, JOBS DATA
The Federal Reserve, whose policy-setting Federal Open
Market Committee concludes a two-day meeting on Wednesday, has
said it expects to keep short-term interest rates exceptionally
low to help support the economy.
U.S. nonfarm payroll figures due on Friday are likely to
show the jobless rate unchanged in January and that the U.S.
economy created 155,000 jobs, according to economists polled by
Manufacturing output in China and the United States is
rising at its quickest pace in about two years while German
business morale improved for a third straight month in January,
fuelling expectations of higher oil demand.
In addition to Syria's conflict reinforcing worries about
the region's oil supply and supporting crude futures, a fifth
day of violence in Egypt prompted Egypt's president to declare a
state of emergency on Sunday in an attempt to end a wave of
World powers have asked Iran to hold a new round of talks
over its nuclear program in February, while expressing
disappointment over Tehran's reluctance to schedule
An aide to Iran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei was
quoted as saying on Saturday that Tehran would consider any
attack on Syria an attack on Iran.
(Additional reporting by Robert Gibbons in New York,
Christopher Johnson in London and Jessica Jaganathan in
Singapore; Editing by David Gregorio and Nick Zieminski)