January 22, 2013 / 1:16 AM / 5 years ago

NYMEX-Crude slips on demand concerns; BOJ steps awaited

SINGAPORE, Jan 22 (Reuters) - U.S. crude futures eased on Tuesday amid lingering investor worries that global supply will outpace demand as it did last year despite unrest in key producing regions such as the Middle East and North Africa.

Investors are eyeing a possible move by the Bank of Japan to commit to more stimulus to lift the nation's economy out of recession, which should boost the outlook for demand from the world's third-biggest oil consumer.

FUNDAMENTALS

* U.S. crude for February delivery was off 27 cents at $95.29 a barrel by 0042 GMT compared to Friday's settlement price of $95.56. There was no settlement on Monday due to the U.S. public holiday.

* The Bank of Japan is set to unveil its most determined effort yet to beat years of economic stagnation, but the big challenge will be how to impress markets already pricing in a doubling of its inflation target and further asset-buying.

* The Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries has begun to reduce output and pumped its lowest volumes in more than a year in December in an attempt to head off a price fall.

* China, the world's No. 2 oil consumer, will push forward market-based reforms on interest rate systems as well as on the currency regime, state radio quoted outgoing Premier Wen Jiabao as saying.

* Algeria's prime minister accused a Canadian of coordinating last week's raid on a desert gas plant and, praising the storming of the complex where 38 mostly foreign hostages were killed, he pledged to resist the rise of Islamists in the Sahara.

MARKETS NEWS

* Ahead of the Bank of Japan's decision which comes after a two-day policy meeting, the yen's recent violent selloff came to an abrupt halt on Tuesday as investors waited to see if the BOJ would deliver its most aggressive effort yet to beat years of economic stagnation, or disappoint.

* Asian shares also marked time ahead of the BOJ's announcement, with the MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan nearly flat.

DATA/EVENTS (GMT)

0300 Japan BOJ rate decision

1000 Germany ZEW economic sentiment Jan

1330 U.S. Chicago Fed National Activity Index

1500 U.S. Existing home sales Dec

1500 U.S. Richmond Fed composite index Jan (Reporting by Manolo Serapio Jr.; Editing by Muralikumar Anantharaman)

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