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NYMEX-Crude steady after sharp fall, economic worries stay in focus

Wednesday, 3 Oct 2012 | 8:35 PM ET

SINGAPORE, Oct 4 (Reuters) - U.S. crude held near $88 a barrel in Asia on Thursday after plunging more than 4 percent the day before, with data from the euro zone and China heightening worries about economic growth and oil demand.

FUNDAMENTALS

* NYMEX crude for November delivery

was up 5 cents at $88.19 a barrel by 0013 GMT. It plunged 4 percent on Wednesday in its biggest daily drop since June 21.

* Front-month Brent futures fell 1 cent to $108.16 per barrel.

* U.S. crude oil stocks declined unexpectedly last week, with domestic stocks dropping by 482,000 barrels, government data showed on Wednesday. That was in sharp contrast to the 1.5 million-barrel gain forecast in a Reuters poll.

* The euro zone's economic woes increased last month and China's slowdown looked likely to extend to a seventh quarter, surveys showed on Wednesday, but there was better-than-expected news on U.S. jobs.

MARKETS NEWS

* Wall Street ended modestly higher on Wednesday on the U.S. labour data, but the Dow industrials were hobbled by a slide in Hewlett-Packard

.

* The yen struggled at two-week lows against the euro and dollar on Thursday, with wary investors taking a pre-emptive move in case the Bank of Japan surprises this week by easing policy.

DATA/EVENTS: (All times GMT)

1100 Britain Bank of England rate decision

1145 Euro zone ECB rate decision

1230 Euro zone ECB President Draghi news conference

1230 U.S. Weekly jobless claims

1400 U.S. Factory orders for August

1800 U.S. Federal Reserve releases minutes from Sept.

12-13 meeting

(Reporting by Ramya Venugopal; Editing by Joseph Radford)

((ramya.venugopal@thomsonreuters.com)(+65 6870 7826)(Reuters Messaging: ramya.venugopal.thomsonreuters.com@reuters.net))

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