NYMEX-Crude hits 4-month top after upbeat German data
SINGAPORE, Jan 23 (Reuters) - U.S. crude oil futures rose to their highest in four months on Wednesday after a strong reading on German investor sentiment added to recent upbeat global economic data, brightening the outlook for fuel demand.
* U.S. crude for March delivery hit a session peak of $96.90 a barrel, its highest since Sept. 18. It was up 7 cents at $96.75 by 0106 GMT. The February contract expired on Tuesday to settle at $96.24.
* March Brent crude inched up 6 cents to $112.48 a barrel.
* German investor morale hit its highest level in more than 2-1/2 years in January, suggesting the euro zone crisis is no longer hurting Europe's largest economy as much as it was late last year, adding to recent upbeat data from China and the United States.
* Ahead of the German data, the Bank of Japan made an open-ended pledge to buy assets to boost its flagging economy, boosting appetite for risk assets like oil and metals.
* The Obama administration has delayed a decision on TransCanada Corp's rerouted Keystone XL oil pipeline until after March, even though Nebraska's governor approved a plan for part of the line running through his state.
* At least 56 people have been killed in a week of fighting in northeast Syria between anti-government rebels and members of the long-oppressed Kurdish minority who have seized on the civil war to try to secure self-rule, activists said.
* The yen held firm on Wednesday, having posted its biggest one-day gain in around eight months on the greenback as investors cut bearish bets on the currency following the Bank of Japan's latest move to spur the economy.
* Asian shares nudged higher following gains on Wall Street, with upbeat U.S. earnings and improving German investor sentiment encouraging buying of riskier assets.
1245 U.S. ICSC weekly chain store sales
1355 U.S. Redbook weekly retail sales
1400 U.S. FHFA home price index Nov
1500 Euro zone Consumer confidence Jan
1500 Canada BoC rate decision
2130 U.S. API weekly crude stocks
(Reporting by Manolo Serapio Jr.; Editing by Tom Hogue)