U.S. crude dips below $50 as dollar hits 3-month high

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SINGAPORE (Mar 10): U.S. crude futures were trading slightly below $50 a barrel on Tuesday morning as the dollar traded at a three-month peak, ahead of key data on weekly crude stocks later in the day.

FUNDAMENTALS

* U.S. crude was down 3 cents at $49.97 by 0025 GMT.

* Benchmark Brent oil was down 10 cents to $58.43 a barrel.

* The U.S. dollar held near multi-year highs on the yen and euro on Tuesday amid starkly different outlooks for global interest rates, while Asian investors braced for more economic news from China.

* Investors were waiting on Chinese inflation data, where a soft result would underline the scope for easier monetary and fiscal policies, but might also aggravate fears of deflation. Consumer prices are seen rising 0.8 percent in February, from January, while the annual pace should tick up to 0.9 percent.

DATA/EVENTS

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

DATA AHEAD (GMT)

0130 China Consumer prices Feb

0130 China Producer prices Feb

1300 U.S. NFIB business optimism Feb

1400 U.S. Wholesale inventories Jan