* U.S. crude inventories rise for 6th week - EIA
* Gasoline futures drop over 4 percent
* Fed's reassurance on easing boosts oil
* Iran, powers agree to further nuclear talks in Istanbul
(Updates with settlement prices, adds quote)
By Gabriel Debenedetti
NEW YORK, Feb 27 Brent crude oil prices fell to
a four-week low beneath $112 a barrel on Wednesday as the sixth
straight weekly rise in U.S. crude oil stockpiles and a sharp
slide in gasoline prices added to concerns about faltering
Inventories of crude oil in the United States rose by 1.1
million barrels in the week to Feb. 22, the Energy Information
Administration said in its weekly report. Gasoline stocks
slipped from high levels around the Gulf Coast refining center
but rose on the East Coast.
The U.S. gasoline benchmark future contract led Brent
lower, falling by more than 12 cents to settle at $2.8565 a
"Gasoline is coming down tremendously, which is going to
have an impact on refinery runs in Europe," said Dominick
Chirichella, senior partner at Energy Management Institute in
"(That) suggests a bearish tone on crude oil demand going
Brent crude shed 84 cents to settle at $111.87 a
barrel, hitting a low of $111.65, its weakest since Jan. 22.
Brent rallied to a nine-month high near $120 in early
February but has since fallen back on signs the global economy
remains fragile. Wednesday's moves pushed Brent down toward its
100-day moving average, a key indicator of market sentiment
watched by traders.
U.S. crude gained 13 cents to $92.76, supported by
the EIA's report of a 75,000-barrel decline in crude oil
inventories at Cushing, Oklahoma, delivery point of the
Losses in crude were limited by U.S. Federal Reserve
Chairman Ben Bernanke's defense of the central bank's
bond-buying stimulus program in Tuesday Congressional testimony.
Bernanke's testimony was seen as supporting the
economic recovery, which is tied to oil demand.
The oil complex has recently closely tracked U.S. equity
markets before a split on Tuesday. The S&P 500 was up 1.3
percent on Wednesday.
Oil prices have also been supported by supply concerns due
to tensions in the Middle East, and investors kept an eye on
talks over Iran's nuclear program.
Iran gave an upbeat assessment of the two day talks with six
world powers - the United States, France, Russia, Britain,
Germany and China - that ended on Wednesday. Western officials
said Tehran must start taking concrete steps to ease mounting
concerns about its atomic activity.
The two sides agreed to meet again in Istanbul in March, and
to resume political discussions in Almaty, Kazakhstan, in April.
(Additional reporting by David Sheppard and Edward McAllister
in New York, Alex Lawler in London and Manash Goswami in
Singapore; Editing by Alison Birrane, Jane Baird, Andrew Hay and