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NYMEX-US crude holds near lowest since June on firm dollar

Sunday, 3 Nov 2013 | 7:53 PM ET

SINGAPORE, Nov 4 (Reuters) - U.S. crude oil steadied near its weakest level in more than four months on Monday as a firmer dollar added to worries over ample supplies in the world's top oil consumer.

FUNDAMENTALS

* U.S. crude for December delivery was off 2 cents at $94.59 a barrel by 0040 GMT. West Texas Intermediate crude fell as low as $94.36 on Friday, its weakest since June 26 as the dollar rallied after U.S. factory output grew at its fastest pace in 2-1/2 years.

* A stronger U.S. currency, which makes dollar-denominated assets such as oil more expensive for holders of other currencies, helped drag down the Thomson Reuters/Core Commodity CRB index by 1 percent to its lowest since June 2012.

* High stockpiles of U.S. crude have also pressured U.S. oil prices, which fell 3.3 percent last week, the steepest drop since the week ended June 21.

* Brent crude was down 4 cents at $105.87. It reached a low of $105.78, matching Friday's trough which was the weakest since late July.

Activity in China's services sector expanded at the fastest pace in 13 months in October, offering further indications that the economy has stabilised, though activity in some important areas including new orders slowed.

* Sinochem Corp will become one of Baghdad's top oil buyers next year when the Chinese state company starts its first wholly owned refinery, the latest example of Iraq beating Middle Eastern rivals in the competition for new markets in Asia.

* Leaders of an autonomy movement in Libya's oil-rich east unilaterally declared a regional government on Sunday, in a challenge to the weak central government as new violence erupted in the restive region.

MARKETS NEWS

* The euro languished at two-week lows, having suffered its biggest drop in over a year last week as expectations grew the European Central Bank will be forced to cut interest rates to shore up growth. The dollar held near six-week peaks versus a basket of major currencies.

DATA/EVENTS (GMT)

0843 Italy Markit/ADACI Manufacturing PMI

0853 Germany Markit/BME Manufacturing PMI

0858 Euro zone Markit Manufacturing PMI

0930 Euro zone Sentix index

1445 U.S. ISM-New York business activity

1500 U.S. Factory orders

(Reporting by Manolo Serapio Jr.; Editing by Richard Pullin)