PERTH Feb 11 U.S. crude rose slightly in early
Asian trade on Monday, supported by indications of improving
demand from China.
Lighter trade volumes are expected at the beginning of this
week, with many traders in Asia away for the Chinese New Year
* U.S. crude futures rose 12 cents to $95.84 per
barrel at 2311 GMT on Monday.
* Brent rose 1 cent to $118.91 per barrel after
rising to a peak of $119.17 a barrel, the highest since May, on
* Chinese crude oil imports rose to the third-highest daily
rate on record, and overall exports and imports were much
stronger than expected, data showed, accelerating signs of a
rebound in the world's second-biggest oil consumer.
* Goldman Sachs, one of the most influential banks in
commodity markets, said Brent's near $10 rally so far this year
is "less driven by supply shocks and instead by improving
* Japan has offered to help Saudi Arabia build nuclear power
stations to free up more oil for exports, Kyodo news agency
reported on Sunday, but a visiting Japanese minister said he was
not seeking a supply increase now.
* Oil traders have also been watching weather developments
in the U.S. Northeast, where a blizzard dumped up to 40 inches
(1 meter) of snow with hurricane force winds, leaving hundreds
of thousands of people without power.
* Iran appears to have resumed converting small amounts of
its higher-grade enriched uranium into reactor fuel, diplomats
say, a process which if expanded could buy time for negotiations
between Washington and Tehran on its disputed nuclear programme.
* On Wall Street Friday, the Nasdaq composite stock index
closed at a 12-year high and the S&P 500 index at a five-year
high, boosted by gains in technology shares and stronger
overseas trade figures.
* The euro dipped to a two-week low in Asia on Monday,
continuing to pull back from 15-month highs following what
markets perceived as dovish comments from the European Central
Bank and political uncertainty in Italy and Spain.
0745 France Industrial output mm Dec 2012
(Reporting by Rebekah Kebede; Editing by)