SEOUL Jan 29 U.S. crude extended gains on
Tuesday, holding just below a four-month high hit last week,
after promising business spending data reinforced belief that a
recovery in the world's top oil consumer was gaining traction.
* U.S. crude rose 9 cents to $96.53 a barrel as of
0106 GMT, less than 40 cents away from a 4-month top of $96.92
hit on Jan. 23. It settled up 56 cents at $96.44 a barrel in the
previous session. Brent crude edged up 2 cents to
$113.50, after closing up 20 cents at $113.48 a barrel.
* Hess Corp said on Monday that it will shut the
70,000-barrels-per-day Port Reading, New Jersey plant in late
February, the latest plant to fall victim to weak profits in the
Atlantic Basin. Front-month U.S. February gasoline futures
, set to expire on Thursday, surged more than 2 percent on
* A gauge of U.S. business investment plans improved in
December, a sign companies were betting the economy will pick up
despite fears over tighter fiscal policy.
* The Federal Reserve, whose policy-setting Federal Open
Market Committee concludes a two-day meeting on Wednesday, has
said it expects to keep short-term interest rates exceptionally
low to help support the economy.
* The world oil market should remain well supplied in 2013
and OPEC does not need to trim back its oil output OPEC
Secretary-General Abdullah al-Badri said on
* Persisting tensions in the Middle East and Africa also
supported oil. Iran said on Monday it had launched a live monkey
into space, seeking to show off missile systems that have
alarmed the West because the technology could potentially be
used to deliver a nuclear warhead.
* Suspected Islamist militants attacked an oil pipeline in
northern Algeria on Monday, killing two guards and wounding
seven other people, a security source told
* In Egypt, thousands of protesters ignored a curfew on
Monday to take to the streets in cities along the Suez canal,
defying a state of emergency imposed by Islamist President
Mohamed Mursi to end days of violence that has killed at least
* Asian shares rose on Tuesday after solid U.S. data, but
investors remained cautious ahead of more U.S. economic reports
and a Federal Reserve policy decision later in the week.
* The euro inched back to 121.95 yen after
topping at 122.90, which was its highest since April 2011.
Against the dollar, the euro pulled back a little to
$1.3450, off an 11-month high of $1.3479 set on Friday.
* The following data is expected on Tuesday (GMT):
0700 Germany GFK Consumer sentiment
0745 France Consumer confidence
1245 U.S. ICSC weekly chain store sales
1355 U.S. Redbook weekly retail sales
1400 U.S. CaseShiller
1500 U.S. Consumer confidence
2130 U.S. API weekly crude stocks
(Reporting by Meeyoung Cho; Editing by Himani Sarkar)