NYMEX crude down as dollar rises, UK strike ends

NEW YORK, April 29 Tue Apr 29, 2008 3:59pm BST

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NEW YORK, April 29 (Reuters) - U.S. crude oil futures fell on Tuesday as the dollar strengthened against the euro and a strike at Britain's Grangemouth refinery ended.

"The U.S. dollar is firming again, today, undercutting one of the financial supports for the oil price, although again not necessarily committing to a reversal of the larger trend," Timothy Evans, analyst at Citi Futures Perspective, wrote in a research note.

On the New York Mercantile Exchange at 10:52 a.m. EDT (1452 GMT), June crude CLM8 was down $1.98 or 1.67 percent at $116.77 a barrel, trading from $115.80 to $118.84.

Monday's $119.93 record peak eclipsed the $119.90 record high from April 22.

In London, June Brent crude LCOM8 was down $1.87 or 1.6 percent at $114.87 a barrel, trading from $113.87 to $116.74.

The dollar strengthened against the euro EUR= Tuesday amid expectations the Federal Reserve will signal the end of its interest rate easing campaign. [USD/]

The Fed will begin its two-day meeting later on Tuesday.

Workers and management at Britain's Grangemouth refinery were to hold talks after a two-day strike. [ID:nL29603011]

The Forties pipeline, halted by the strike, was to resume moving oil on Tuesday, pipeline operator BP (BP.L) said.

Meanwhile, Nigerian unions restarted talks with Exxon Mobil Corp (XOM.N) on Tuesday to end a six-day strike which has shut nearly all the company's output. [ID:nL29836170]

Nigeria's second-largest producing oil major, Royal Dutch Shell (RDSa.L), has shut at least 169,000 barrels per day of production because of recent rebel attacks.

BP Plc's (BP.L) Los Angeles-area refinery reported an equipment breakdown that triggered flaring on Monday in notices filed with regulators. [ID:nN28392361]

Also on Wednesday, the U.S. Energy Information Administration will release weekly oil inventory data.

A preliminary analyst poll on Monday yielded a forecast for crude supplies to be up 1.2 million barrels, gasoline stocks to be down 600,000 barrels and distillates little changed, up 100,000 barrels. [EIA/S]

NYMEX refined products futures also fell Tuesday. The May contracts expire Wednesday.

NYMEX May RBOB RBK8 was down 5.42 cents or 1.79 percent at $2.9765 per gallon, trading from $2.9670 to $3.0285. RBOB hit an intraday record of $3.0815 last Friday.

The RBOB crack spread <0#RB-CL=R> was at $7.81 after ending at $8.53 on Monday.

May heating oil HOK8 was down 2.45 cents or 0.74 percent at $3.2743 a gallon, trading from $3.2530 to $3.2970. The contract set a record high $3.35 on April 22.

The heating oil crack spread <0#CL-HO=R> was at $20.10 versus $19.79 on Monday. (Reporting by Robert Gibbons; Editing by John Picinich)

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