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NYMEX crude weaker in Asia as market looks ahead to API data



© Reuters. NYMEX crude weaker in Asia – Crude oil prices fell in early Asia on Tuesday with the focus on weekly data points ahead in the U.S. on supply.

On Tuesday industry group the American Petroleum Institute will release its estimates of crude and refined product stockpiles last week. On Wednesday, the U.S. Department of Energy will release its own more closely watched figures on the same stockpiles.

Crude oil for delivery in September on the New York Mercantile Exchange fell 0.34% to $44.81 a barrel.

Overnight, oil jumped almost 4% on Monday after a rally in U.S. gasoline and diesel due to a refinery outage helped crude futures advance from multi-month lows.

The dollar's (DXY) drop to a near two-week low also made oil and other commodities denominated in the greenback more affordable to holders of the euro and other currencies. [USD/]

, the global benchmark for oil, rose 3.7%, posting its largest gain since end-May. rose 2.5%, its most in two months.

The rally came after a malfunction at the 240,000-barrels-per-day crude distillation unit at BP (LONDON:)'s Whiting, Indiana refinery sent gasoline prices soaring more than 4 percent.

Ultra low sulfur diesel gained more than 3 percent, rebounding from last week's six-year lows.

“A reduction in refinery activity should logically decrease the demand for crude, all things being equal,” said David Thompson, executive vice-president at Powerhouse, an energy-specialized commodities broker in Washington.

“But the strong link between refined products and crude in the instance of a refinery issue creates the dynamic where the increased demand for the now, temporarily scarce gasoline outweighs the lessened demand for crude.”

Refined oil products usually rally during the summer in the United States, when driving activity peaks. This year's run-up in gasoline came as early as April but lost steam by July as some traders and investors deemed the market had gotten ahead of itself.

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