July 2, 2012 / 12:43 AM / 5 years ago

NYMEX-U.S. crude drops toward $84 after China data

SEOUL, July 2 (Reuters) - U.S. crude eased toward $84 per barrel on Monday as weak China data spurred some caution, after prices posted their fourth biggest daily gain in the previous session on a surprise deal by EU leaders to shore up the region’s banks.

FUNDAMENTALS

* U.S. crude lost 66 cents a barrel at $84.30 as of 0034 GMT. Brent crude oil also declined 90 cents a barrel at $96.90.

* On Friday, Brent crude rose more than $6 a barrel while U.S. crude jumped by more than $7 - the fourth largest daily gains in dollar terms since the contracts were launched.

* China’s factory downturn worsened in June as a key activity index hit a seven-month low, data expected to raise expectations the central bank may seek more policy easing to revive the world’s second-largest economy.

* U.S. and European sanctions, designed to target Tehran’s disputed nuclear program, have pushed Iran from second-largest producer in OPEC to now rank third behind Iraq. Iran’s crude is subject to a European Union embargo that also bars EU insurance firms from covering Iran’s exports.

* Iran pledged to counter the impact of a European Union oil embargo which took full effect on Sunday, saying it had built up $150 billion in foreign reserves to protect itself.

Experts from Iran and six world powers - the United States, Russia, China, Britain, France and Germany - are set to meet in Istanbul this week, but purely for technical discussions.

* A strike by offshore workers in Norway’s oil sector entered its second week on Sunday with labour unions bracing for a long conflict and possible escalation to further lower output from the eighth largest oil exporter.

Operator Statoil said the strike had cut production of oil and natural gas liquids by 230,000 to 250,000 barrels per day, or up to 13 percent of Norway’s capacity.

* OPEC’s oil output has remained close to its highest since 2008 in June as extra oil from Saudi Arabia and Iraq has compensated for a drop in Iranian supply to its lowest level in more than two decades, a Reuters survey found.

* Iranian Oil Minister Rostam Qasemi urged OPEC’s secretary general to call for an extraordinary meeting amid falling oil prices, Iranian Oil Ministry’s website SHANA said on Saturday.

* Iraq’s oil exports fell to 2.403 million barrels per day on average in June compared with 2.452 million bpd in May, the oil ministry said on Sunday.

MARKETS NEWS

* The rally in the euro took a breather on Monday as investors looked for fresh reasons to extend a risk rally sparked by initial euphoria over perceived progress in efforts to resolve Europe’s debt crisis.

* Asian shares rose on Monday with sentiment brightening at the start of the third quarter after Europe agreed to shore up the region’s banks, while investor attention is turning to the health of the U.S. economy.

* U.S. stocks surged on Friday to close out a sour quarter on a high note as investors cheered the agreement by European leaders.

DATA/EVENTS

* The following data is expected on Monday (GMT):

0230 China HSBC Mfg PMI Final Jun 2012

0500 India HSBC Markit Mfg PMI Jun 2012

0743 Italy Markit/ADACI Mfg PMI Jun 2012

0753 Germany Markit/BME Mfg PMI Jun 2012

0758 EZ Markit Mfg PMI Jun 2012

1400 U.S. ISM Manufacturing PMI Jun

1400 U.S. Construction spending mm May

Russia HSBC Mfg PMI Jun 2012 (Reporting by Meeyoung Cho; Editing by Himani Sarkar)

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