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    (Reuters) - Oil jumped for a third straight session on Monday as OPEC forecast greater demand for crude this year than previously thought and projected less supply from countries outside the producer group.
    The Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries forecast that demand for OPEC oil will average 29.21 million barrels per day (bpd) in 2015, up 430,000 bpd from its previous forecast. The group also slashed its outlook for crude supply growth in non-OPEC countries.
    Oil prices have been trying to find a floor after a brutal selloff that wiped out over half of the market's value since June. The rebound came after weeks of decline in the U.S. oil rig count, which hit three-year lows last week.
    While most traders cited short-covering as prices continued to advance on Monday from near six-year lows, some noted options expiry in Brent's front-month contract and a weaker dollar .DXY as other supportive factors.
    Standard & Poors' negative outlook for Saudi Arabia due to the decline in oil prices also led to speculation that the No. 1 crude exporter might want the market to recover after its freefall in recent months.
    Benchmark Brent oil futures LCOc1 settled up 54 cents, or nearly 1 percent, at $58.34 a barrel, after rallying to $59.61 at one point.
    U.S. crude futures CLc1 finished up $1.17, or 2.3 percent, at $52.86 after a session high at $53.99.
    Brent's premium to U.S. crude CL-LCO1=R narrowed for the first time in five sessions as U.S. futures outperformed on expectations that the oversupply might be resolved sooner than thought due to the falling rig count.
    Both benchmarks have risen nearly 20 percent since Jan. 29. But some traders remain pessimistic about the rally.
    "It was mainly hedge fund, speculator driven and smacks of price-overshooting," said Anuraag Shah, portfolio manager at the Los Angeles-based Tusker Investment Fund, which manages nearly $100 million across commodities.
    Tariz Zahir, managing member at New York's Tyche Capital Advisors, said his fund was "not turning long in any way" on oil, and continues to bet that gains of the past week or so "will all be sold into".
    Citigroup said in a note that U.S. crude could fall well below $40, "perhaps as low as the $20 range for a while".

    SYDNEY/WELLINGTON, Feb 9(Reuters) - Australian shares fell 0.5 percent on Monday, ending a record 12 days of gains, dragged lower by banks and mining stocks following surprisingly weak trade data in China, a key trading partner.
    Highlighting deepening weakness in the Chinese economy, trade data released on Sunday showed exports fell 3.3 percent from year-ago levels while imports tumbled 19.9 percent, far worse than analysts had expected.
    Investors shrugged off positive domestic jobs data that showed an eighth consecutive rise in job advertising, while local political uncertainty weighed with Prime Minister Tony Abbott surviving a leadership spill challenge.
    The S&P/ASX 200 index fell 31.57 points on Monday to 5,788.6 by 0053 GMT. The benchmark ended 0.1 percent higher on Friday to its highest in nearly seven years. The index gained 9.6 percent in last 12 sessions to match the longest winning streak on record seen in 2008.
    Concerns about reduced Chinese imports sent major miners BHP Billiton and Rio Tinto down about 1 percent.
    Big banks including Commonwealth Bank of Australia and NAB were down 0.9 and 0.7 percent respectively.
    Fairfax Media fell as much as 9.3 percent after billionaire Gina Rinehart sold her stake of nearly 15 percent in the company.
    Elsewhere, Energy stocks climbed after oil prices jumped on Monday. Woodside Petroleum Healthcare shares were also up with surgical glove and condom maker Ansell among biggest percentage gainers on the index after a profit rise.
    Across the Tasman Sea, New Zealand stocks were a touch softer with the benchmark NZX-50 index 0.2 percent lower at 5784.24, with the market trading sideways ahead of the half year reporting season which starts later this week.
    Of the leading stocks, casino operator Sky City, which reports its first half result on Wednesday, was down 1.8 percent at NZ$3.75.
    Telecommunications company Spark was down 0.8 percent to NZ$3.46, after hitting a more than seven-year high on Thursday.
    Outdoor goods retailer Kathmandu gained 3.6 percent to NZ$1.44, bouncing back from last week's battering following an earnings' warning.
    Among the falls were power companies Contact Energy and Meridian Energy down 1.1 and 2.8 percent respectively, with brokers saying the strongly performing sector is becoming overvalued. (Editing by Eric Meijer)

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