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NYMEX-U.S. crude up after Bernanke reassures on stimulus

Tuesday, 19 Nov 2013 | 8:05 PM ET

PERTH, Nov 20 (Reuters) - U.S. crude oil futures rose in early Asian trading on Wednesday after U.S. Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke said the Fed will maintain its bond buying program as long as needed.

Oil markets will be closely watching talks between major powers and Iran, which resume Wednesday, on curbing Iran's nuclear program.

FUNDAMENTALS

* U.S. crude for December delivery rose 17 cents to $93.51 a barrel by 0028 GMT. The December crude contract expires Wednesday.

* Brent crude closed at $106.92 a barrel on Tuesday, after falling $1.55.

* Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke said on Tuesday the Fed will maintain ultra-easy U.S. monetary policy for as long as needed and will only begin to taper bond buying once it is assured that labor market improvements would continue.

* Senior U.S. lawmakers urged the Obama administration on Tuesday to take a tougher line in negotiations with Iran over its nuclear ambitions, saying Tehran should roll back its nuclear program before economic sanctions are eased.

* Oil exports from Libya's western Mellitah port have resumed after protests ended, allowing a large oilfield to ramp up production that could reach over 80,000 barrels per day by Wednesday.

* Industry group the American Petroleum Institute released data after the settlement showing U.S. crude oil inventories last week rose 512,000 barrels, less than the 900,000-barrel build predicted by a Reuters poll of analysts.

MARKETS NEWS

* Asian share markets could extend gains on Wednesday as the dollar sagged after Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke said the Fed is committed to easy policy as long as needed.

DATA/EVENTS

* The following data is expected on Wednesday:

0700 Germany Producer prices

1200 U.S. Weekly mortgage market index

1330 U.S. Retail sales

1330 U.S. Consumer inflation

1500 U.S. Existing home sales

1900 FOMC releases minutes from Oct. 29-30 meeting