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NYMEX-Oil stays above $100 as weak dollar, cold weather support

Monday, 17 Feb 2014 | 7:51 PM ET

SINGAPORE, Feb 18 (Reuters) - U.S. crude futures held above $100 on Tuesday, buoyed by a weaker dollar and as frigid weather across North America lifted heating demand.

Iran and the world powers will start negotiations on Tuesday on a long-term deal. A positive outcome would be negative for oil as sanctions on Tehran would ease, allowing the OPEC producer to export more crude and add to global supply.

FUNDAMENTALS

* U.S. crude for March delivery was up 52 cents at $100.85 a barrel by 0042 GMT. There was no settlement on Monday as U.S. markets were shut for Presidents' Day holiday.

* Brent crude settled on Monday at $109.18 a barrel, the highest since Feb. 7.

* The United States and long-time arch-foe Iran agree on at least one thing ahead of Tuesday's negotiations on a long-term nuclear deal - reaching an agreement will be very difficult, if not impossible.

* Russia could build a second reactor at Iran's Bushehr nuclear power plant in exchange for Iranian oil, the Iranian ambassador to Moscow said in remarks published on Monday.

* Iraqi Kurdistan's prime minister and top energy official travelled to Baghdad on Monday to intensify efforts to settle a long-running dispute with the central government over the region's oil exports via a new pipeline to Turkey.

* Global oil firms, hit by one of the worst years for discovery in two decades, are about to cut exploration spending, pulling back from frontier areas and jeopardising their future reserves, industry insiders say.

* The Brent crude global oil benchmark needs fundamental and immediate reform due to dwindling North Sea output, the world's biggest oil trader said.

* State-owned oil major Rosneft is determined to help Russia get its first crude oil benchmark for Asia while using its newly acquired trading desk from Wall Street bank Morgan Stanley to boost liquidity behind the oil flows.

MARKETS NEWS

* A string of disappointing U.S. data pinned the dollar near six-week lows against a basket of currencies on Tuesday, while Asian share markets held steady after notching up solid gains in recent sessions.

DATA/EVENTS (GMT)

* The following data is expected on Tuesday:

0200 China foreign direct investment

0900 Euro zone Current account

0900 Euro zone Net investment flows

1000 Germany ZEW economic sentiment

1330 U.S. New York Fed manufacturing

1500 U.S. NAHB housing market index

(Reporting by Florence Tan; Editing by Richard Pullin)