UPDATE 4-Brent falls towards $105, reaches fresh 4-month low

Alexander Winning
Monday, 4 Nov 2013 | 8:10 AM ET

* Brent falls extends losses from previous session

* Dollar index eases after hitting 7-week peak

* Coming Up: U.S. factory orders; 1500 GMT

(Recasts to reflect price drop, adds quote)

LONDON, Nov 4 (Reuters) - Brent crude futures fell towards $105 a barrel on Monday, extending heavy losses on Friday, as concerns the U.S. Federal Reserve could trim monetary stimulus added to a long-term view of slack demand and ample supply.

Brent crude for December delivery fell 45 cents to $105.46 a barrel by 1255 GMT to reach a fresh four-month low after dropping $3 on Friday.

U.S. crude for December fell 30 cents to $94.31 after ending $1.77 lower in the previous session for a fourth straight week of losses.

"The overall view of the oil market is bearish. You have abundant supply, especially in the United States, a strong U.S. dollar and geopolitical risks have been pushed back for the moment," said Carsten Fritsch, an oil analyst at Commerzbank.

Christopher Bellew, an oil broker at Jefferies Bache, said Brent crude prices could approach $100 a barrel if traders believe the Fed will taper its stimulus programme at its next policy meeting in December.

Should the Fed rein in its monthly bond purchases, the dollar would strengthen, making dollar-denominated assets such as oil more expensive for holders of other currencies.

The dollar index eased slightly on Monday after climbing to a seven-week peak on Friday.


Lingering tensions in major exporter Libya kept losses in check, however, as leaders of an autonomy movement in Libya's oil-rich east unilaterally declared a regional government on Sunday.

Strikes at Libyan ports and oil fields have slashed crude production to about 10 percent of the North African country's capacity of 1.25 million barrels a day.

"The situation in Libya will limit any downside in Brent, until that is sorted we can expect some support for oil," Fritsch at Commerzbank said.

The spread between Brent and U.S. benchmark WTI <CL-LCO1=R> held steady around $11.20 after reaching $13.60 last week, its widest since April.

U.S. oil has been pressured by inventory data from the Energy Information Administration pointing to healthy stocks at the Cushing, Oklahoma, delivery point for the U.S. futures contract.

Harry Tchilinguirian, head of oil strategy at BNP Paribas in London, said the Brent/WTI spread could widen to $15 in the near term as weak refining margins limit the drawdown of Cushing stocks and outages of light oil support Brent.

"Double-digit spreads are likely to persist in the short term," Tchilinguirian said.

(Additional reporting by Manash Goswami in Singapore; editing by Jason Neely and Jane Baird)

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