NYMEX-U.S. crude rises towards $104 after biggest losing streak in 2013
SINGAPORE, Aug 9 (Reuters) - U.S. crude rebounded towards $104 a barrel on Friday, with investors buying after the contract hit the lowest in a month in its longest losing streak this year.
Front-month West Texas Intermediate prices had suffered five straight sessions of losses until Thursday, the longest since December, on jitters over the outlook for U.S stimulus and on expectations North Sea supply will improve next month after maintenance.
The U.S. Federal Reserve will likely begin cutting back on its massive bond-buying programme next month, as long as economic data continues to improve, a top Fed official known for his opposition to the programme said on Thursday.
The move is expected to reduce liquidity that has underpinned global markets. It could also boost the dollar, weighing on commodities such as oil that are priced in the currency.
U.S. crude for September delivery has rebounded from its lowest settlement since July 30 to $103.95 a barrel, up 55 cents, by 0037 GMT.
Brent crude was at $106.92, up 24 cents, after settling at its lowest since July 4.
* A strong rally in the price of U.S. crude in July coupled with a general improvement in the American economy has encouraged investors to return to energy exchange traded products (ETPs) after several months of outflows.
* The 2013 Atlantic hurricane season is still on track to be "above normal" but "extreme levels of activity" are less likely, the top U.S. government climate agency said.
* Several refiners on the U.S. Gulf Coast and in the Midwest have planned large-scale overhauls for the fall as well as making longer-term maintenance plans that will temporarily crimp gasoline supplies in parts of the United States, sources familiar with operations at the refineries said.
* Unrest that has already slashed Libya's oil output to the lowest levels since the 2011 civil war and more than halved its exports is now spreading, with serious implications for its economy, foreign companies and consumers of crude.
* India is thinking of providing a 20 billion rupee ($327 million) state guarantee to back local insurance for refineries that use Iranian oil and therefore cannot get foreign cover due to Western sanctions, an industry source said.
* Russia has emerged as the surprise favourite to ship the bulk of crude from Kazakhstan's Kashagan field, capitalising on a regional pipeline bottleneck that is adding to headaches for the world's most expensive oil development.
* Saudi Arabia said on Thursday it had arrested two men from Yemen and Chad on suspicion of planning suicide attacks, days after the United States closed embassies in the region citing an al Qaeda threat.
* Global investors will look to a batch of Chinese data on Friday for evidence that a strong bounce in July trade was not a fluke.
* The dollar licked its wounds on Friday after steep losses over five straight days, holding near a seven week low against a basket of currencies.
* The following data is expected on Friday:
- 0130 GMT China CPI yy Jul
- 0130 GMT China PPI yy Jul
- 0500 GMT Japan Consumer confid. index Jul
- 0530 GMT China Industrial output yy Jul
- 0530 GMT China Retail sales yy Jul
- 0530 GMT China Urban investment (ytd)yy Jul
- 0645 GMT France Industrial output mm Jun
- 1930 GMT U.S. CFTC commitment of traders data Weekly
(Reporting by Florence Tan; Editing by Joseph Radford)