Thursday, March 4, 2010


TOKYO, March 4 (Reuters) - U.S. crude futures stood little changed near $81 a barrel on Thursday after a 1.5 percent rise a day earlier on the back of a weaker dollar.


* NYMEX crude for April delivery was down 4 cents at $80.83 a barrel by 0030 GMT, after settling up $1.19 at a seven-week high of $80.87 a day earlier.

It rose as high as $81.23 on Wednesday, its highest since Jan. 12.

* Wednesday's climb came despite government data showing U.S. crude stocks rose by 4.1 million barrels last week, more than the 1.4 million barrel increase forecast. Gasoline stocks rose 700,000 barrels, slightly more than expected. [EIA/S]

The Energy Information Administration report showed that total distillate stocks fell 900,000 barrels, in line the Reuters poll forecast.

* The Obama administration said on Wednesday that its proposed "Volcker rule" on curbing risky proprietary trading by banks would phase in over two years, with possible one-year extensions. [ID:nN03110377]


* U.S. stocks ended little changed on Wednesday as worries about bank regulation and a setback for drug company Pfizer offset signs of improvement in the labour market and services sector.

* The euro was firm on Thursday, as investors encouraged by Greece's fresh austerity measures to reduce its deficit cut some of the record short positions in the single currency. [USD/]


* The following data is expected on Thursday:

- 1000 GMT--Euro Zone GDP Revised/Q4

- 1200 GMT--BoE Rate Decision

- 1245 GMT--ECB Rate Decision

- 1330 GMT--U.S. Jobless Claims/Wkly

- 1330 GMT--U.S. Productivity Revised/Q4

- 1500 GMT--U.S. Durable Goods, Factory Orders/Jan

RELATED NEWS > No date for Chile Bio Bio refinery to restart [nN03109437]

PRICES Oil prices as of 0030 GMT Contract Mnth Price Change Day ago pct MA-20* NYMEX Contracts US Crude APR0 $80.83 -0.04 +$1.19 +1.49% $77.01 Heat Oil APR0 209.10 -0.27 +3.76 +1.83% 199.72 RBOB APR0 224.14 -0.62 +5.10 +2.32% 203.18 Natgas APR0 $4.749 -0.008 +$0.049 +1.04% $5.116 ICE Contracts Brent APR0 -- +0.00 +$1.07 +1.37% $75.25 Gasoil MAR0 -- +0.00 +$8.50 +1.33% $607.94 Note: U.S. heating oil and RBOB gasoline contracts listed in cents per gallon. * = 20-day moving average for continuation month. (Reporting by Osamu Tsukimori)

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