Sunday, March 18, 2012

NYMEX crude oil futures march 19 2012

U.S. crude oil futures march 19 2012 ; U.S. crude oil futures edged up early on Monday, extending previous session's gains as concerns over Iran's disputed nuclear programme continued to stoke supply disruption fears.

* On the New York Mercantile Exchange, crude for April delivery gained 29 cents at $107.35 a barrel as of 0000 GMT after settling up $1.95 at $107.06 a barrel.

* In London, ICE Brent crude for May delivery, the new front-month, climbed 22 cents at $126.03 after settling up $3.21 at $125.81.

* EU diplomats are debating whether to exempt some insurers from a ban on dealing with Iranian oil shipments after Asian oil importers lobbied for exceptions to ensure oil deliveries, government and industry sources said on Friday.

Diplomats in the European Union are divided on the issue before EU foreign ministers meet on March 23, said one EU diplomat. "At the moment, there is no agreement on this."

* Saudi Arabian oil exports rose 143,000 barrels per day (bpd) in January month-on-month, according to government data published Sunday, as the world's leading crude seller increased supplies to the United States.

* Contrary to expectations that the modest rise in the kingdom's output would be mostly sold to Asian or European consumers looking for alternatives to Iranian oil, U.S. government data showed Saudi shipments to North America rose sharply in early 2012.

* Oman, located strategically on the opposite side of the Strait of Hormuz from Iran, said the risk of military conflict between Tehran and the West was rising but there was still plenty of opportunity to negotiate peace.

* To deal with any potential crisis should Iran close the Strait of Hormuz, Iraq has set up a contingency plan by approving to expand its oil export routes by adding capacity from its northern fields and building a pipeline to ship oil from southern fields to Ceyhan in Turkey, a government spokesman said.


* Japan's benchmark Nikkei average opened up 0.21 percent at 10,150.85 on Monday, while the broader Topix gained 0.19 percent to 868.38.

* The S&P 500 closed out its best week in three months with a slim gain on Friday as investors continued to propel equities near four-year highs. Two slightly softer economic reports curbed broader gains, keeping both the Dow and the Nasdaq in modestly negative territory.

* The yen was on the defensive in Asia on Monday with the euro reaching a fresh five-month high against the Japanese currency, while the dollar nursed losses following a setback late last week.

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