Thursday, December 20, 2012

20121220 1102 Global Markets & Energy Related News.

GLOBAL MARKETS-Asian shares pause as U.S. budget talks stall, yen eyes BOJ
TOKYO, Dec 20 (Reuters) - Asian shares paused after rallying to their highest in nearly 17 months the day before, as talks to avert a U.S. fiscal crisis stalled - prompting worries of the world's largest economy sliding back into recession.
"If this discussion continues to go as it has gone today (Wednesday), watch for more selling off as hopelessness begins to take hold for many investors across all asset classes," said Neal Gilbert, market strategist at GFT Forex, in a note to clients.

FOREX-Yen choppy as BOJ decision looms; NZD hit by data
SYDNEY, Dec 20 (Reuters) - The yen languished near 20-month lows against its U.S. peer, but trading was choppy in thin conditions with yen bears possibly suffering a case of cold feet as the Bank of Japan's policy decision loomed.
"At the same time, they will be keen on maintaining their credibility and insisting that the bigger problem is a fiscal one. The odds are that the BOJ may do enough not to frighten the markets too much, but leave major decisions to January."

US 'fiscal cliff' talks turn sour, Obama threatens veto
 WASHINGTON, Dec 19 (Reuters) - Talks to avoid a U.S. fiscal crisis stalled on Wednesday as President Barack Obama accused opponents of holding a personal grudge against him while the top Republican negotiator called the president "irrational."
As a year-end deadline nears, Obama and House of Representatives Speaker John Boehner are locked in intense bargaining over a possible deal to avoid the so-called fiscal cliff of harsh tax hikes and automatic spending cuts that could badly damage an already weak economy.    

OIL-Oil rises on U.S. budget deal hopes, demand optimism
NEW YORK, Dec 19 (Reuters) - Oil prices rose on Wednesday as expectations a battle over the U.S. budget will be resolved spurred optimism about crude demand in the world's top consumer.
"There was a risk-on tone when we started the day globally. All markets were looking to go higher, and I think crude has fed off that," said Addison Armstrong, director of market research, Tradition Energy in Stamford, Connecticut.

US crude stocks fall, gasoline rises on more refining-EIA
NEW YORK, Dec 19 (Reuters) - U.S. crude inventories fell and gasoline inventories rose for a fourth week in a row as refiners boosted their processing rates, data from the U.S. Energy Information Administration showed on Wednesday.
Crude stocks fell by 964,000 barrels to 371.65 million barrels, compared with an average analyst forecast for a 1.1 ion barrel drawdown in a Reuters poll. Crude imports fell 101,000 barrels per day (bpd) to 8.36 million bpd.

U.S. sets plan for oil drilling in Alaska Petroleum Reserve
WASHINGTON, Dec 19 (Reuters) - The federal government on Wednesday announced plans to develop petroleum reserves on part of Alaska's North Slope, with the 23-million-acre National Petroleum Reserve to be divided between areas available for oil leases and those that are protected from development for now.
The announcement by U.S. Interior Secretary Ken Salazar followed the completion of an environmental impact study, which recommended development of about 72 percent of the estimated "economically recoverable" oil in the reserve.

EXCLUSIVE-India to cut Iran oil imports 2013/14-sources
NEW DELHI, Dec 19 (Reuters) - India plans to cut oil imports from Iran by 10 to 15 percent in the next fiscal year, and more if Tehran does not lower prices to help cover higher costs resulting from Western sanctions, a government source said.    
Iran's top Asian oil buyers - China, India, Japan and South Korea - have all reduced imports after the United States and the European Union imposed sanctions aimed at curbing Tehran's nuclear ambitions. The sanctions have more than halved Iran's oil exports this year, costing Tehran up to $5 billion a month in lost revenue.

Russian crude exports seen shifting to Asia from Europe
MOSCOW, Dec 19 (Reuters) - Russia is expected to redirect some oil exports from Europe to Asia in the early months of 2013, when crude will flow through an expanded pipeline from the country's eastern oilfields to the Pacific port of Kozmino.
Russian pipeline operator Transneft's preliminary export schedule showed exports of crude oil from Kozmino, the termination point of the East-Siberia-Pacific-Ocean (ESPO) pipeline, will soar in the early part of next year, while westward exports will drop.

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