* Weekly rise in gasoline stocks follows big quarterly stock
* U.S. crude and distillate stocks also rose last week -EIA
* Firming U.S. dollar contributes to oil's losses
* Coming up: U.S. jobless claims data 8:30 a.m. EST Thursday
(New throughout, updates prices and market activity)
By Joshua Schneyer
NEW YORK, Jan 9 Oil futures fell slightly on
Wednesday after government data showed U.S. fuel stocks rose
sharply last week, a sign of ample supply in the world's top
consumer of oil.
U.S. oil futures rose early, then turned negative after U.S.
Energy Information Administration data showed gasoline
inventories rose 7.4 million barrels last week. That followed a
build of nearly 30 million barrels in the final quarter of 2012.
Stocks of crude and distillate fuels also rose, data showed.
"The report is solidly bearish with the large builds in
refined products, especially gasoline," said John Kilduff of
hedge fund Again Capital in New York.
U.S. crude futures for February delivery settled 5
cents lower at $93.10 a barrel, while Brent futures fell
18 cents to $111.76 a barrel.
U.S. RBOB gasoline fell nearly 2 cents a gallon.
The U.S. dollar gained almost 0.3 percent against a basket
of foreign currencies. Oil prices often fall when the
dollar strengthens since dollar-denominated commodities like
crude become more expensive for holders of foreign currencies.
Investors shrugged off some potentially more bullish signals
for energy markets in the near future.
The Bank of England and European Central Bank policymakers
began two-day meetings. Investors will watch for hints that the
ECB may lower interest rates in 2013 to pull the regional
economy out of recession.
Traders also await quarterly economic data from China later
this month, which is expected to confirm revived economic growth
in the world's top consumer of energy resources.
U.S. equities markets advanced, with the S&P 500 index
rising 0.2 percent a day after aluminum company Alcoa Inc.
reported better-than-expected fourth quarter revenues,
kicking off the quarterly U.S. corporate earnings season.
RISING U.S. OIL PRODUCTION
The EIA's weekly report also said U.S. crude production last
week rose above 7 million barrels per day for the first time
The EIA had said in a separate report on Tuesday that U.S.
crude oil production will rise by the largest amount on record
in 2013, and is set to soar 25 percent over two years.
The rapid increases underscore how advances in horizontal
drilling and more hydraulic fracturing in shale and tight oil
fields are boosting supply.
(Additional reporting by Robert Gibbons in New York, Simon
Falush in London and Ramya Venugopal in Singapore; Editing by