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NYMEX-Crude rises on heating demand, down dollar

U.S. crude futures slightly higher in thin trade

* Heating oil demand, weaker dollar support prices

* U.S. Northeast digging out from blizzard

* Coming up: U.S. Consumer Confidence Index (10 a.m. EST)

NEW YORK, Dec 28 (Reuters) – U.S. crude oil futures prices rose Tuesday to just below the 26-month high they had hit in the previous session after the blizzard in U.S. Northeast boosted demand for heating oil.

The dollar’s broad fall likewise buoyed crude oil futures.

The climb came ahead of an expected higher reading from the monthly U.S. consumer confidence data to be released later Tuesday morning.

Oil briefly hit its third successive 26-month high in razor thin trading on Monday but dipped lower, ending a five-day rally, after a Chinese rate increase threatened to slow demand and a major East Coast refinery resumed operations.

The massive blizzard that hit the Northeast slowed trading on Monday but did not have a significant effect on refinery operations in the region.

New York City and surrounding areas were hit hardest by the storm, which swept up the Atlantic Coast on Sunday night and through the Monday morning commute, burying cities in knee-deep snow and unleashing winds of up to 59 mph (95 kph). [ID:nN28243401]

FUNDAMENTALS

* On the New York Mercantile Exchange, February crude CLG1 rose 56 cents, or 0.62 percent, to $91.56 a barrel, at 9:08 EST (1408 GMT).

* Crude oil futures broke above 26-month highs for the third straight trading session to rise as high as $91.88 on Monday, their highest since October 2008.

* Floor trading was delayed for two hours on Monday at the New York Mercantile Exchange after the blizzard that pummeled Northeastern United States clogged traffic in the area.

MARKETS NEWS

* The dollar extended losses versus the yen Tuesday, hitting its lowest level since mid November in thin trading that exaggerated moves. [USD/]

* The Euro also jumped against the dollar, rising to its highest in almost a week, after stop-loss orders were triggered at $1.32. [ID: nLDE6BR0ON]

* U.S stock index futures rose ahead of consumer confidence data due out later on Tuesday morning after Japanese factory output rose for the first time in six months renewing hopes for a global economic recovery.

[ID:nN28247278]

UPCOMING DATA

* U.S. Consumer Confidence Index (1500 GMT) on Tuesday, forecast to

grow to 56.0 up from 54.1 in November. USCONC=ECI

9:10     LAST     NET    PCT     LOW    HIGH  CURRENT  DAY AGO

CHNG   CHNG                      VOL      VOL

CLc1    91.39    0.39   0.4%   90.75   91.67   20,953  145,007

CLc2    92.11    0.37   0.4%   91.55   92.39    5,785   43,401

LCOc1   94.08    0.23   0.3%   93.66   94.28   13,297   38,026

RBc1   2.4264  0.0055   0.2%  2.4144  2.4314      390   17,991

RBc2   2.4128  0.0060   0.3%  2.4018  2.4202      941   22,148

HOc1   2.5245  0.0079   0.3%  2.5129   2.532      537   22,785

HOc2   2.5350  0.0084   0.3%  2.5220  2.5425    1,825   28,380

* NYMEX crude oil for February CLc1 rose 39 cents to $91.39 a barrel by

9:10 a.m. in volume of 20,954 lots.

(Reporting by Selam Gebrekidan; Editing by John Picinich)

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