UPDATE 2-Oil steady above $76; Fed, equity gains soothe

* Fed signals U.S. interest rates to remain near zero

* Coming Up: U.S. durable goods for May; 1230 GMT

* For a technical view, click: [ID:nSGE65M0B1]
(Updates prices)

By Alejandro Barbajosa

SINGAPORE, June 24 (BestGrowthStock) – Oil stabilised above $76 on
Thursday after two days of losses, mirroring steady Asian
equities after the U.S. Federal Reserve’s dovish outlook.

Japan’s Nikkei average closed little changed on Thursday,
after U.S. stocks (Read more about the stock market today. ) mostly fell on Wednesday following the Fed’s
monetary policy statement, suggesting interest rates will
remain near zero longer than expected. [MKTS/GLOB] [.T]

“Oil has picked up off the lows this morning. It had a very
sharp sell-off Wednesday after the weak data on housing and the
EIA stocks data,” said David Moore, commodities strategist at
Commonwealth Bank.

“The little bounce today is more a reaction to the dip last
night. Regional equities are stable and the Fed’s affirmation
it will keep interest rates low may have also helped.”

U.S. crude for August (CLc1: ) fell as much as 42 cents to
$75.93 a barrel before recovering to $76.38, up 3 cents on the
day at 0650 GMT. ICE Brent (LCOc1: ) rose 14 cents to $76.41.

U.S. gasoline inventories last week fell by 800,000
barrels, with demand over the past four weeks up 1.2 percent
over the comparable period last year. Distillate stocks rose by
300,000 barrels, while demand jumped 12 percent. [EIA/S]

On Wednesday crude touched $75.17, the lowest since June
15. On Thursday it was up 18 percent from a May 20 trough below
$65, but prices were about $11 lower than their early-May
19-month peak above $87.

“What we see is a market that is still cautious about
economic recovery,” said Toby Hassall, an analyst at CWA Global
Markets in Sydney. “That feeds into oil demand prospects.”

U.S. crude inventories unexpectedly gained 2 million
barrels last week, according to a government report on
Wednesday, while data showed new home sales fell at a record
pace in May to their lowest in more than 40 years.

In the U.S. Gulf, BP (BP.L: ) said it had reinstalled its oil
syphon cap at its leaking well off the southern United States.
[ID:nN23161792] At the same time, the Obama administration
appealed a court ruling that blocked its six-month moratorium
on deepwater oil drilling.

“Obama’s attempts to restrict deepwater drilling are at
odds with another policy — to cut dependence on imported oil,”
said Jonathan Barratt, managing director of Commodity Broking
Services.

“By taking deepwater supplies out of the equation, U.S.
self sufficiency in oil could fall to around 30 percent in 2035
from around 40 percent if deepwater production is allowed.”

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For graphics of U.S. Gulf offshore crude output and
self-sufficiency:
http://graphics.thomsonreuters.com/10/US_DRL0610.gif
http://graphics.thomsonreuters.com/10/US_OFSHRD0610.gif

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Weather concerns could complicate the picture after the
U.S. National Hurricane Center said a tropical wave to the
south of Cuba had a 30 percent chance of becoming a tropical
cyclone over the next two days. Storms could hamper cleaning
efforts and curb oil production in the Gulf of Mexico.

In other news, the Paris-based International Energy Agency
on Wednesday said crude supplies would be comfortable for five
years, further stoking bearish sentiment in the oil market.
[ID:nLDE65M0P5]

Stock Market Trading
(Additional reporting by Nick Trevethan; Editing by Clarence
Fernandez)

UPDATE 2-Oil steady above $76; Fed, equity gains soothe