Oil steadies above $92, Egypt unrest supports
U.S. crude futures steadied above $92 on Tuesday, taking a breather after surging to a two-year high in the previous session on the unrest in Egypt and rising demand expectations.
NYMEX crude for March delivery nudged nine cents lower to $92.10 by 0030 GMT, after rallying as high as $92.84 on Monday -- the highest since October 2008.
In London, Brent crude broke past $100 a barrel for the first time since 2008, surging as high as $101.73 before settling at $101.01 on Monday.
Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak's deputy began talks on sweeping reforms with the opposition on Monday, as pressure from street protests, Western allies and the army appeared to be ending Mubarak's 30 years of one-man rule.
OPEC is concerned by unrest in Egypt but sees no need for an immediate boost in its output as there is no shortage of oil, the group's top producer Saudi Arabia and its leading official said on Monday.
London's marine insurance market said there was no direct threat to ships passing the Suez Canal at the moment.
U.S. crude inventories likely rose 2.8 million barrels last week on higher imports, while colder weather drew down distillate stockpiles by 1.2 million barrels, a Reuters poll of analysts showed.
The dollar weakened against a basket of currencies, with the dollar index down 0.15 percent as euro zone inflation topped forecasts, supporting the view that interest rates in the region could rise before those in the United States.
Asian stocks are set to open cautiously higher on Tuesday as worries about the political situation in the Middle East are set to counter optimism from healthy earnings and signs of improving U.S. economic performance.
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