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NYMEX-Crude flat, after slipping on Spain downgrade
May 30, 2012 / 12:06 AM / 5 years ago

NYMEX-Crude flat, after slipping on Spain downgrade

TOKYO, May 30 (Reuters) - U.S. crude futures held steady on Wednesday, after a downgrade of Spain’s credit rating sent the euro to a near two-year low against the dollar and pressured oil prices a day earlier.

Egan-Jones Ratings cut Spain’s credit rating for the third time in less than a month, which weakened the single currency and rekindled fears of a spreading debt crisis in the euro zone.

FUNDAMENTALS

* NYMEX crude for July delivery was unchanged at $90.76 a barrel by 2343 GMT, after settling down 10 cents on Tuesday.

Before the downgrade, oil and equities had risen on optimism about polls showing leads for Greek political parties in favour of austerity and on revived concerns about supply disruptions amid Iran’s dispute with the West over Tehran’s nuclear programme.

* London Brent crude for July delivery was still untraded, after settling down 43 cents at $106.68.

* Iran has significantly stepped up its output of low-enriched uranium, and total production in the last five years would be enough for at least five nuclear weapons if refined much further, a U.S. security institute said.

* OPEC output in May has hit its highest since 2008 as Saudi Arabia maintained high production rates and Iranian shipments did not fall substantially further ahead of a European Union embargo set to start in July, a Reuters survey found on Tuesday.

* U.S. crude oil stockpiles were expected to have increased by 500,000 barrels last week as imports remained robust, a preliminary Reuters survey of analysts showed. Distillate and gasoline stocks were seen little changed.

* Oil inventory reports will be delayed due to Monday’s U.S. holiday. Industry group the American Petroleum Institute will release its data on Wednesday at 4:30 p.m. EDT ( 2030 GMT), with the government’s report to follow on Thursday.

MARKETS NEWS

* U.S. stocks rose on Tuesday as signs Greece would stay in the euro zone were enough to spark buying in what has been a weak month for equities, while Facebook plumbed new lows on high volume.

* The euro fell on Tuesday to its weakest level versus the U.S. dollar since July 2010 on Spain’s soaring borrowing costs and expectations more spending will be necessary to support its ailing banks.

DATA/EVENTS

* The following data is expected on Wednesday: (Time in GMT)

- 0900 EZ Business climate/May

- 1100 US Mortgage market index/weekly

- 1145 US ICSC chain stores/weekly

- 1255 US Redbook/weekly

- 1400 US Pending home sales index/Apr

- 2030 US API national petroleum report/weekly (Reporting by Osamu Tsukimori; Editing by Chris Gallagher)

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