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tisdag 18 maj 2010

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* Euro weakness, sovereign debt concerns weigh on oil

* High inventories help keep pressure on U.S. oil futures

* Coming up: API weekly inventory data, Tuesday afternoon

NEW YORK, May 17 (Reuters) - U.S. crude futures fell for
the fifth day in a row on Monday, hitting the lowest level in
five months amid worries that euro zone debt troubles could
stifle economic recovery and cause oil demand to falter.

Front month June crude CLMO also came under selling
pressure as options on the contract expired, with the contract
itself set to expire on Thursday.

"Crude futures fell today as the fallout from the euro zone
debt crisis continued. There was also pressure with the
expiration of the June crude options, with concentration seen
in the $70 puts," said Gene McGillian, analyst at Tradition
Energy, Stamford, Connecticut.

June crude has fallen 20.5 percent from its 19-month high
$87.15 hit on May 3 and hit the most oversold level for
front-month crude since September 2008 on the basis of the
daily relative strength index. [ID:nN17267022]

That could indicate that crude prices may be in for a
short-term bounce, technical analysts said.

The euro fell to a four-year low against the dollar on
nagging fears that euro zone's austerity measures will cause a
downturn in the region and curb global growth. [USD/]

High oil inventories, especially record stocks at the
delivery point in Cushing, Oklahoma, have kept NYMEX
front-month crude oil futures weaker compared with the next
month's contract CL-1=R.

Traders will next focus on weekly U.S. petroleum inventory
reports. Ahead of those reports, a Reuters poll forecast that
for the week to May 14, crude stocks rose 700,000 barrels,
distillate stocks increased 1.0 million barrels and gasoline
supplies fell 1.1 million barrels. [EIA/S]

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