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NYMEX-U.S. crude slips below $95; Iran talks, China party meeting in focus

Monday, 11 Nov 2013 | 7:54 PM ET

SINGAPORE, Nov 12 (Reuters) - U.S. crude futures edged lower in early Asian trading on Tuesday, as investors eyed the next round of Iran nuclear talks and possible economic reforms by Chinese leaders at the end of a Communist Party meeting later in the day.

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry said he hoped an agreement on Iran's disputed nuclear programme would be signed within months. Talks between Iran and Western powers ended without a deal at the weekend, but will resume on Nov. 20.

Chinese leaders will be announcing a 10-year reform agenda at the end of its Communist Party meeting on Tuesday with economic-focused measures likely to dominate, although some analysts say the chances of seeing big surprises will be small.

U.S. crude for December delivery was 20 cents lower at $94.93 per barrel at 0030 GMT. The contract had settled 54 cents higher on Monday.

FUNDAMENTALS

* U.S. lawmakers will wait for a briefing by Secretary of State John Kerry this week before deciding whether to impose tough new sanctions on Iran over its nuclear program, Senate aides said on Monday.

* North Sea oil output tracked by Reuters will slip by just 4 percent in December from November's 2013 high, ensuring the market will remain amply supplied as refiners return from seasonal maintenance.

* Oil is unlikely to flow from Kazakhstan's Kashagan oilfield until spring as the world's biggest crude discovery in half a century faces challenges including leaky pipes, industry sources said on Monday.

* Output from Venezuela's 955,000 barrels per day (bpd) Paraguana Refining Center slipped to 64 percent of capacity in November from 74 percent in June, due to outages and a lack of replacement parts, according to an internal report seen by Reuters on Monday.

MARKETS NEWS

* Asian shares held steady on Tuesday, with investors turning their attention to the Chinese Communist Party policy-meeting for clues to China's economic agenda for the next decade, while the dollar's two-day rally against the euro came to a halt.

DATA/EVENTS

* The following data is expected on Tuesday:

- 0500 Japan Consumer confidence index

- 1200 India Industrial output

- 1230 U.S. NFIB small business confidence

- 1245 U.S. ICSC weekly chain store sales

- 1330 U.S. Chicago national activity index

- 1355 U.S. Redbook weekly retail sales

- 1500 U.S. Employment trend index

(Reporting by Jacob Gronholt-Pedersen; Editing by Edwina Gibbs)