GO
Loading...

UPDATE 7-U.S. crude falls on inventory jump, Brent firmer

* U.S. crude stocks rose 6.4 mln barrels from previous week-EIA

* EIA says distillates were off 4.6 mln barrels

* Coming up: U.S. Federal Reserve statement 2 p.m. EST (1900 GMT)

(Rewrites throughout, adds analyst quote, changes byline dateline, pvs LONDON)

NEW YORK, Jan 29 (Reuters) - U.S. crude oil futures fell on Wednesday after government data showed a hefty build in crude inventories, but losses were curtailed by a larger-than-expected stocks draw in distillates, the third in as many weeks, spurred by severely cold weather.

Temperatures in the U.S. Midwest and heavily populated Northeast have hovered at or below the freezing mark for several weeks, driving up demand for heating fuels.

Brent crude oil rose moderately, supported by Middle East supply concerns. Spillover attacks from the civil war in Syria have hindered development of Iraq's gas and oil reserves and a major pipeline to the Mediterranean has been blown up dozens of times, Iraq's top energy official said on Tuesday.

Brent was up 39 cents at $107.80 per barrel at 12:50 p.m EST (1750 GMT). U.S. oil fell by more than a $1 to a session low of $96.32 after the stocks figures were released, and was last trading 43 cents down to $96.98.

The price difference between the two contracts <CL-LCO1=R> stood at $10.85, widening from the previous session settlement of $10.

U.S. oil stocks rose by 6.4 million barrels, including a 237,000-barrel build at Cushing, Oklahoma, where the U.S. oil futures benchmark contract is priced, data from the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) showed.

U.S. ultra low-sulfur diesel (ULSD) futures, more commonly known as heating oil, rose after data showed distillate stocks fell by 4.6 million barrels, compared with a forecast of a 2.2 million barrel draw in a Reuters poll.

"The stronger than expected products demand gave the market a little bit of a bullish tilt," said Phil Flynn, an analyst at the Price Futures Group in Chicago, Illinois. "The demand for distillates overcame the increase in production."

ULSD futures were last trading 1.3 percent higher or nearly 4 cents up to $3.1608 per gallon, after touching a session high of $3.1793.

Financial markets were also waiting for an announcement out of a meeting of the Federal Open Market Committee, due to finish on Wednesday, where the U.S. central bank is widely expected to trim its monetary stimulus by another $10 billion per month.

The stimulus measure has largely supported gains in commodity and equity markets.

Brent was boosted earlier in the session after Turkey instituted a massive interest rate hike overnight to revive investors' risk appetites.

By mid-day, global equities markets and emerging market currencies slumped in anticipation of the Fed's announcement.

(Additional reporting by Peg Mackey and Christopher Johnson and Alex Lawler in London and Manash Goswami in Singapore; editing by Keiron Henderson and Jason Neely)