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NYMEX-Crude ends higher pre-holiday, posts weekly gain
April 5, 2012 / 9:07 PM / in 6 years

NYMEX-Crude ends higher pre-holiday, posts weekly gain

* U.S. jobless claims fall last week, support oil
    * Shell to curb U.S. Mars crude grade output in May
    * Coming up: NYMEX trading shut on Friday

    NEW YORK, April 5 (Reuters) - U.S. crude futures rose on
Thursday after two straight days of losses as data showing a
drop in U.S. jobless claims combined with uncertainty about
supply disruptions to prompt short-covering ahead of a long
holiday weekend.	
    Data showing initial jobless benefits claims fell to the
lowest level in nearly four years last week arrived a day ahead
of the closely watched U.S. March nonfarm payrolls report,
expected to show a gain of 203,000 jobs, including a rise in
private payrolls.  	
    The West's tightening sanctions hampering Iran's oil exports
and the uncertainty ahead of talks on Tehran's disputed nuclear
program expected to be held at midmonth also helped support
crude prices.	
    Crude futures fell more than 2 percent on Wednesday after
data showed a sharp rise in U.S. crude stocks last week, a jump
of 9.0 million barrels.	
    The CME Group's New York Mercantile Exchange will
not have an open outcry session or trading on the Globex
electronic trading platform on Friday, observing an Easter
holiday.	
    Trading will resume at the normal 6:00 p.m. EDT (2200 GMT)
on Sunday for trade date Monday, April 9.	
        	
    FUNDAMENTALS	
    * On the New York Mercantile Exchange, May crude 
 rose $1.84, or 1.81 percent, to settle at $103.31 a
barrel, having traded from $101.37 to $103.40.	
    * For the week, U.S. crude gained 29 cents, or 0.28 percent.	
    * NYMEX May RBOB gasoline rose 0.69 cent, or 0.21
percent, to settle at $3.3405 a gallon. For the week,
front-month RBOB fell 4.94 cents, or 1.46 percent, after eight
straight weekly gains.	
    * NYMEX May heating oil rose 0.83 cent, or 0.26
percent, to settle at $3.1692 a gallon. For the week,
front-month heating oil managed a 0.08 cent gain, or 0.03
percent.	
    * Royal Dutch Shell will cut production from Mars
field, a major supplier of sour crude from the Gulf of Mexico,
by 50 percent for a month beginning on May 15, a buyer of the
crude said. 	
    * Iran's oil flows to Greece have stopped this month,
depriving the Islamic Republic of one of its most loyal European
customers and leaving Greece, with its financing troubles,
struggling to buy elsewhere. 	
    * Exports of ultra-low sulfur diesel from Russia's Baltic
port of Primorsk will be more than halved in April due to
refinery maintenance work, sources at oil companies said.
 	
    * A major Chinese ship insurer will halt indemnity cover for
tankers carrying Iranian oil from July, narrowing the insurance
options for Tehran's main export already constricted by payment
barriers caused by Western sanctions. 	
    * Russian state-owned oil group Zarubezhneft met with
Iranian officials to discuss upstream oil projects in Iran amid
international sanctions against Tehran, which Moscow has called
"counterproductive," a company source said. 	
        	
    MARKETS NEWS	
    * Fears about Spain's high debt level pushed the euro down
broadly to its lowest level against the dollar in three weeks.
 	
    * Copper steadied following a 3 percent plunge the day
before, helped by consumer buying and upbeat jobs data in the
United States, but a long Easter weekend in the United States.
and European markets limited gains. 	
    * U.S. stocks mostly traded sideways, but the S&P 500 ended
its worst week this year as growing pressure on Europe's debt
markets revived concerns about the region's financial stability.
 	
    * Gold rose as investors covered short positions after a
sharp two-day pullback, and the crude oil rally also buoyed the
precious metal that sank early this week on disappointment about
further U.S. monetary easing. 	
        	
    UPCOMING DATA/EVENTS	
    * No NYMEX open outcry session on Friday. NYMEX energy
trading resumes on Globex electronic platform on Sunday at 6:00
p.m. EDT (2100 GMT) for Monday, April 9 trade date.	
    * U.S. March nonfarm payrolls report due at 8:30 a.m. EDT
(1230 GMT) on Friday.	
   	
        SETTLE     NET    PCT     LOW    HIGH  CURRENT  DAY AGO
                  CHNG   CHNG                      VOL      VOL
 CLc1   103.31    1.84   1.8%  101.37  103.40  222,434  300,729
 CLc2   103.83    1.80   1.8%  101.92  103.92   75,508  106,531
 LCOc1  123.43    1.09   0.9%  121.80  123.54  177,164  250,186
 RBc1   3.3405  0.0069   0.2%  3.2945  3.3460   44,200   84,919
 RBc2   3.2766  0.0138   0.4%  3.2329  3.2791   37,304   70,116
 HOc1   3.1692  0.0083   0.3%  3.1419  3.1895   43,693   61,755
 HOc2   3.1785  0.0096   0.3%  3.1504  3.1947   19,979   25,990
                                                                 
 TOTAL MARKET            VOLUME                 OPEN  INTEREST
              CURRENT    Apr 04   30D AVG     Apr 04  NET CHNG
 CRUDE        460,996   658,463   606,408  1,568,692       378
 RBOB         137,115   247,620   149,044    347,674      -129
 HO            93,015   127,358   140,210    280,831     5,135

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