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NYMEX-U.S. crude ends higher eyeing data, Middle East
March 1, 2012 / 10:32 PM / in 6 years

NYMEX-U.S. crude ends higher eyeing data, Middle East

 * Iranian media reports Saudi oil pipeline fire
 * Saudi officials say report untrue - CNBC
 * Coming up: CFTC positions data 3:30 p.m. EST Friday
 NEW YORK, March 1 (Reuters) - U.S. crude futures rose
sharply on Thursday and global benchmark Brent crude jumped to
its highest intraday price since 2008 after a report out of Iran
of a pipeline fire in Saudi Arabia.	
 Iranian media reported an explosion on an unknown oil
pipeline in the oil-rich Eastern Province of Saudi Arabia,
although the report was not verified. 	
Prices pulled back after Dow Jones newswires reported a Saudi
oil official said the report was untrue, according to CNBC
television.	
 Ahead of that flurry of activity, crude futures on both
sides of the Atlantic had been lifted by supportive economic
data from China and the United States and the ongoing concerns
about supply disruptions and tensions with Iran.	
 	
 FUNDAMENTALS	
 * On the New York Mercantile Exchange, (month) crude 
 rose $1.77, or 1.65 percent, to settle at $108.84 a
barrel,  before rising to $110.55 in post-settlement trading,
the highest since May 2011.	
 * U.S. crude ended post-settlement trading on the Globex
electronic platform up $1.53 at $108.60 a barrel.	
 * Israel took the unusual precaution of announcing that it
would soon test-fire a ballistic interceptor missile, hoping to
avoid stoking war tensions with Iran. 	
 * China's factory output grew more than expected in February
as new export orders for big firms bounced back, a government
survey showed, while a private-sector report portrayed a
different picture of smaller companies lagging behind the
rebound. 	
 * Inventories of gas oil in the Amsterdam-Rotterdam-Antwerp
hub fell very marginally over the past week, with the pace of
stock drawdown slowing down at the end of winter in Europe,
Dutch oil analyst Pieter Kulsen said. 	
 * Mild weather in February led to broad sales gains at top
U.S. chains, and even laggard Gap Inc posted its first
increase in eight months. 	
 * U.S. initial jobless claims fell last week but consumer
spending was flat in January for the third straight month after
accounting for inflation, fueling doubts about the economic
outlook. 	
 * Major automakers including General Motors Co posted
a rise in auto sales for the month of February, helped by
American drivers' need to replace aging cars and trucks despite
the rise in fuel prices. 	
 * Western trade sanctions against Iran are impeding its oil
exports even before they go into effect, a U.S. advisory body
has found. 	
 * Seaborne oil exports from OPEC, excluding Angola and
Ecuador, will rise by 10,000 barrels per day in the four weeks
to March 17, UK consultancy Oil Movements said in its latest
weekly estimate. 	
 * Oil price reporting by industry media could be regulated
in an attempt to prevent market manipulation and increase
transparency for the world's biggest traded commodity, global
regulator group the International Organisation of Securities
Commissions said. 	
 	
 MARKETS NEWS	
 * Copper rose more than 1 percent, recouping some of the
previous day's losses, as data indicated top metals consumer
China will avoid a sharp economic slowdown to boost risk
appetite and overshadow concerns over Europe's debt crisis.
 	
 * U.S. stocks rose, moving back to 2008 highs, after a jump
in bank shares and further upbeat data on the labor market,
though sharp gains in oil prices limited the advance. 	
 * Gold rose 1.5 percent, rebounding above $1,700 an ounce as
the previous session's 5 percent drop induced investors to buy
at lower prices on hopes the tumble was a correction rather than
the start of a bear market. 	
 * The euro fell to its lowest level in a week against the
dollar as U.S. data showed the economy lost steam earlier this
year but remained in better shape than the euro zone. 	
         	
 UPCOMING DATA/EVENTS	
 * U.S. Commodities Futures Trading Commission positions data
due at 3:30 p.m. EST (2030 GMT) on Friday.	
 	
     SETTLE     NET    PCT     LOW    HIGH  CURRENT  DAY AGO
               CHNG   CHNG                      VOL      VOL
 CLc1   108.84    1.77   1.7%  106.55  110.55  370,408  353,125
 CLc2   109.27    1.75   1.6%  107.01  110.95  102,491   88,332
 LCOc1  126.20    3.54   2.9%  122.49  128.40  253,334  243,681
 RBc1   3.3517  0.0945   2.9%  3.2550  3.3868   52,353    5,937
 RBc2   3.3425  0.0918   2.8%  3.2486  3.3762   34,809   54,983
 HOc1   3.2753  0.0694   2.2%  3.1888  3.3165   76,203    7,684
 HOc2   3.2733  0.0720   2.3%  3.1910  3.3135   42,372   90,271
                                                             
 TOTAL MARKET            VOLUME                 OPEN  INTEREST
           CURRENT    Feb 29   30D AVG     Feb 29  NET CHNG
 CRUDE        821,499   686,720   679,788  1,543,447   -25,614
 RBOB         160,170   139,389   148,872    352,731    -3,822
 HO           200,443   211,405   157,784    287,301   -14,441
 	
 (Reporting By Robert Gibbons and Gene Ramos)	
 

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