SEOUL, March 12 (Reuters) - U.S. crude futures edged up on Thursday as the dollar weakened slightly, recovering from losses the session before after U.S. oil inventories marked another record high.
* U.S. crude’s front-month April contract had gained 13 cents to $48.30 a barrel by 0028 GMT, after closing the previous session down 12 cents at $48.17.
* Brent’s front-month rose 35 cents to $57.89 a barrel, after settling up $1.15 at $57.54.
* The euro hovered just above a fresh 12-year low early on Thursday having faced an unrelenting onslaught this week as the European Central Bank kicked off its 1 trillion euro bond-buying campaign. The dollar index came within a whisker of 100.00 for the first time since April 2003.
* U.S. crude inventories climbed by 4.5 million barrels in the week to March 6 to 448.9 million, the highest level for this time of year in at least 80 years, the EIA said. Analysts had expected an increase of 4.4 million barrels on average.
* Oil and condensate has been exported at least three times from the Libyan port of Mellitah since the start of this month, according to industry sources and ship-tracking data, a surprise move with other terminals in the west of the country largely shut.
* About 1,000 construction workers employed by a contractor at Husky Energy Inc’s Sunrise oil sands project were laid off unexpectedly on Wednesday, a union official confirmed. The layoff is among the largest yet seen from companies operating in Alberta’s oil sands, as oil prices that have dropped more than half since June squeeze profits and force operators to slash capital spending and new projects.
* Russia said on Wednesday it would meet OPEC in June to discuss the impact of shale oil on global markets, just days before the producers’ group decides whether its policy of high production is sufficient to stifle the U.S. energy boom.
* The euro hitting a 12-year low against the dollar on Wednesday drove European stocks higher as shares of big exporters gained, while U.S. stocks slipped on concern over when the Federal Reserve would begin to raise U.S. interest rates.
* The following data is expected on Thursday: (Time in GMT)
1000 Euro zone Industrial production Jan
1230 U.S. Import prices Feb
1230 U.S. Export prices Feb
1230 U.S. Weekly jobless claims
1230 U.S. Retail sales Feb
1400 U.S. Business inventories Jan (Reporting by Meeyoung Cho; Editing by Joseph Radford)