NYMEX-Crude rises for 3rd day on U.S. budget deal hopes

TOKYO, Dec 18 (Reuters) - U.S. crude futures rose for a

third day on Tuesday on hopes that Washington could be edging

closer to a deal to avert the so-called fiscal cliff, which

threatens to push the world's biggest oil user into recession

and dent energy demand.

FUNDAMENTALS

* NYMEX crude for January delivery was up 20 cents at

$87.40 a barrel by 0004 GMT, after settling up 47 cents at

$87.20 on Monday.

* The discount of U.S. crude to Brent narrowed by $1 on

Monday, following news of the expansion of a key U.S. pipeline

next month that would allow more crude to be transported to the

Gulf Coast from the Cushing, Oklahoma delivery point, where a

glut of oil has depressed U.S. oil prices.

* London Brent crude for February delivery was yet

to trade, after settling down 54 cents at $107.64.

* U.S. stock markets and oil futures got support on Monday

after investors saw a meeting between President Barack Obama and

Republican John Boehner as a sign of progress that an agreement

on a "fiscal cliff" deal was shaping up.

* A pipeline leak that spilled more than 2,000 gallons of

gasoline from Buckeye Pipe Line Co's 140,000 barrels-per-day

refined products line was sealed and stopped, New Jersey

regulators said on Monday.

* Manufacturing in New York State declined for a fifth

straight month in December and the labour market remained weak,

the New York Federal Reserve said in a report released on

Monday.

* Ahead of a weekly oil report by the American Petroleum

Institute later in the day, a Reuters poll of analysts forecast

the data would show a drawdown in crude oil stocks last week as

refiners ran down inventories for year-end tax purposes, while

fuel stockpiles were expected to show a corresponding build.

MARKETS NEWS

* The S&P 500 ended at its highest level in almost two

months on Monday.

* The yen dropped to a 20-month low against the U.S. dollar

on Monday after Japan's Liberal Democratic Party won a landslide

election victory that leaders promise will usher in aggressive

monetary easing policies to weaken the currency.

DATA/EVENTS

* The following data is expected on Tuesday: (Time in GMT)

- 1245 U.S. ICSC chain stores

- 1330 U.S. Current account/Q3

- 1355 U.S. Redbook

- 1500 U.S. NAHB housing market index/Dec

- 2130 American Petroleum Institute oil report

- 2300 U.S. SEMI Book-to-bill ratio/Nov

(Reporting by Osamu Tsukimori; Editing by Joseph Radford)

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