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NYMEX-U.S. crude edges above $94 on Yellen comments, but stockpiles weigh

Thursday, 14 Nov 2013 | 8:02 PM ET

SINGAPORE, Nov 15 (Reuters) - U.S. crude edged above $94 a barrel on Friday on expectations the Federal Reserve would persist with its loose monetary policy for now.

But the contract remained on course for its fifth weekly drop in six due to a larger-than-expected rise in U.S. inventories.

Janet Yellen, likely to be the next Fed chief, on Thursday defended the U.S. central bank's commodity-friendly stimulus measures, suggesting that immediate tapering would not be on the table if she takes up the job.

U.S. crude for December delivery was 31 cents higher at $94.07 per barrel at 0034 GMT, after settling 12 cents lower on Thursday.

Elsewhere, the International Energy Agency said that while oil markets look well supplied in the short term, prices could rise in the next few months due to a seasonal increase in demand and output disruptions in some OPEC producers including Libya and Iraq.

FUNDAMENTALS

* U.S. crude stocks rose 2.6 million barrels last week, while inventories of distillates dipped to 117 million barrels, according to Energy Information Administration data issued on Thursday.

* Iraq has moved swiftly to restore calm at its giant southern oilfields following violent protests, and the world's top oil services company is expected to return to work next week at its biggest field, Rumaila, a senior Iraqi official said on Thursday.

MARKETS NEWS

* Asian share markets found reassurance in the prospect of extended U.S. monetary stimulus on Friday, while a falling yen had Japanese stocks gunning for their biggest weekly increase in almost four years.

DATA/EVENTS

* The following data is expected on Friday:

- 1330 U.S. New York Fed Empire State survey

- 1330 U.S. import/export prices

- 1415 U.S. industrial output

(Reporting by Jacob Gronholt-Pedersen; Editing by Joseph Radford)