* Libya fighting shuts refinery, threatens infrastructure
* API says U.S. crude stocks rose, gasoline fell last week
* Coming up: EIA oil data, 10:30 a.m. EST Wednesday
NEW YORK, March 9 (Reuters) - U.S. crude oil futures rose on Wednesday as fighting in Libya continued to threaten the country’s oil infrastructure and OPEC indicated it saw no need for an emergency meeting to consider raising output.
Brent crude futures posted the bigger gains, with NYMEX crude’s rise curbed by industry data released Tuesday showing crude stocks in the United States rose more than expected last week, with stockpiles at the Cushing, Oklahoma, delivery point for the NYMEX light sweet crude contract, also increasing.
U.S. crude stockpiles rose 3.8 million barrels last week, with gasoline stocks falling 3.7 million barrels and distillate stock dropping 1.5 million barrels, the industry group American Petroleum Institute said in its report on Tuesday. [API/S]
A Reuters analyst survey yielded a forecast for crude stocks to be up 400,000 barrels, distillates down 600,000 barrels and gasoline stocks down 1.5 million barrels. [EIA/S]
The U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) will issue the government’s oil data at 10:30 a.m. EST (1530 GMT).
* On the New York Mercantile Exchange, April crude CLJ1 rose 41 cents, or 0.4 percent, to $105.02 a barrel at 8:46 a.m. EST (1346 GMT), trading from $104.21 to $105.55.
* Saudi Arabia is expected to keep its contracted supply volumes to most of its customers in Europe unchanged in April from March, while raising supplies to a small number of them, trade sources said. [ID:nLDE7281AB]
* OPEC sees no need at present to hold an emergency meeting to discuss raising its oil output, because supply is adequate, an OPEC delegate said following informal consultations among members. [ID:nLDE7280UW]
* Dialogue is the best way to resolve any problems in Saudi Arabia, Saudi Foreign Minister Prince Saud al-Faisal said, adding that Muslim clerics had banned protests in the wealthy kingdom. [ID:nLDE7280VW]
* Libyan forces loyal to Muammar Gaddafi closed in on rebels in the western city of Zawiyah, surrounding them with tanks and snipers in the main square, a resident and a rebel fighter said. U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton made it clear that Washington believes that imposing a no-fly zone is a matter for the United Nations and should not be a U.S.-led initiative. [ID:nLDE728029]
* The Libyan people will take up arms against Western powers if they seek to enforce a no-fly zone in their country’s airspace, Gaddafi said in an interview with Turkish state-run television. [ID:nLDE7280R3]
* The United States is still looking at a full range of military options on Libya, the Pentagon said a day before NATO defense ministers gather for a meeting. [ID:nL3E7E90YK]
* NATO Secretary-Gerneral Anders Fogh Rasmussen said the alliance was not looking to intervene in Libya but was ready to respond to any developments. [ID:nLAL004670]
* China Petroleum & Chemical Corp (Sinopec) (0386.HK) is cutting purchases of West African crude because of the high Brent/Dubai spread and is likely to buy more from the Middle East, trading sources said. [ID:nTOE727071]
* Copper rose, rebounding from a recent decline as risk appetite crept back in, but strength in crude oil prices kept investors worried that inflationary pressures could hit economic growth and demand. [MET/L]
* Gold rose, with its price in yen hitting the highest since 1983, on Libya and tensions throughout North Africa and the Middle East. [GOL/]
* World stocks and the euro slipped on worries over the euro debt crisis. [MKTS/GLOB] [FRX/]
* The euro recovered from lows after Portugal successfully sold bonds, although it is likely to stay below recent four-month highs as the euro zone’s debt problems outweigh expectations of a rise in interest rates. [ID:nLDE7281HU]
* U.S. Commerce Department releases wholesale inventories for January at 10 a.m. EST (1500 GMT) Economists in a Reuters survey forecast an increase of 0.8 percent following December’s rise of 1 percent.
* U.S. Energy Information Administration oil inventory data to be released at 10:30 a.m. EST (1530 GMT). 8:46 LAST NET PCT LOW HIGH CURRENT DAY AGO
CHNG CHNG VOL VOL CLc1 105.43 0.41 0.4% 104.21 105.55 51,938 404,435 CLc2 106.31 0.36 0.3% 105.09 106.45 18,655 159,741 LCOc1 114.25 1.19 1.1% 112.16 114.48 74,118 227,052 RBc1 2.9764 0.0297 1.0% 2.9338 2.9800 2,431 48,771 RBc2 2.9831 0.0271 0.9% 2.9400 2.9860 1,787 26,128 HOc1 3.0275 0.0164 0.5% 2.9940 3.0378 2,426 50,458 HOc2 3.0386 0.0155 0.5% 3.0096 3.0443 974 21,519 * NYMEX crude oil for April CLc1 rose 41 cents to $105.43 a barrel by 8:46 a.m. in volume of 51,938 lots. (Reporting by Robert Gibbons; Editing by John Picinich)