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NYMEX-US crude up on demand hopes as US GDP growth beats forecast

Thursday, 7 Nov 2013 | 7:56 PM ET

SINGAPORE, Nov 8 (Reuters) - U.S. crude futures rose in early Asian trade on Friday as faster than expected economic growth in the world's top oil consumer revived hopes of increased demand.

U.S. gross domestic product (GDP) growth accelerated in the third quarter at 2.8 percent annual rate, the quickest pace in a year, after expanding at a 2.5 percent clip in the second quarter.

But the recovery also supported the case for a cutback in stimulus by the Federal Reserve later this year, which would reduce the supply of dollars and make dollar-denominated assets such as oil more expensive for holders of other currencies.

U.S. oil gained 39 cents to $94.59 by 0021 GMT, after ending 60 cents lower under pressure from a stronger dollar. Brent crude settled $1.78 lower, losing $2 at one point to trade as low as $103.24, its lowest mark since July 2.

FUNDAMENTALS

* Rival militiamen battled each other for hours with anti-aircraft guns and grenades across Tripoli on Thursday, killing at least one person and wounding 12 in the worst fighting for months in the Libyan capital, medical sources said.

* A threat by the U.S. Congress to slap tough new sanctions on Iran hung over negotiations on Tehran's nuclear program on Thursday, even as diplomats at talks in Geneva voiced optimism an agreement was close.

* OPEC could lose almost 8 percent of its oil market share in the next five years as the shale energy boom and other competing sources boost rival supply, offering the exporter group little benefit from rising world demand.

* The European Central Bank cut interest rates to a record low and said it could take them lower still to prevent the euro zone's recovery from stalling as inflation tumbles. The move took financial markets by surprise - the euro fell sharply in response while European shares rose.

MARKETS NEWS

* The euro slid to a more than seven-week low against the dollar on Thursday after the European Central Bank shocked investors by cutting interest rates and said that policy will remain accommodative for as long as necessary.

DATA/EVENTS

* The following data is expected on Friday:

- 0200 China Exports

- 0200 China Imports

- 0200 China Trade balance

- 0700 Germany Trade balance

- 0745 France Industrial output

- 0745 France Trade balance

- 1330 U.S. Unemployment rate

- 1330 U.S. Nonfarm payrolls

- 1455 U.S. Univ of Michigan sentiment index

- 1700 U.S. World Agricultural Supply and Demand Report

(Reporting by Manash Goswami; Editing by Richard Pullin)