NEW YORK, Sept 22 (Reuters) - Brent settled up on Tuesday, while U.S. crude finished down 2 percent but off its lows despite weak Wall Street stocks, after a partial pipeline outage and bets of positive U.S. inventory data helped oil offset skittish sentiment in financial markets.
Oil slumped early on market jitters from the impending expiry of the front-month contract in U.S. crude and a near two-week high in the dollar. Brent fell more than 2 percent at one point and U.S. crude slid more than 3 percent as U.S. equities hit a two-week low.
Gasoline lost more than 3 percent before turning positive.
Oil rebounded after news that Colonial Pipeline had shut part of its operation, including a line with capacity to carry 850,000 barrels of gasoline and distillates from North Carolina to its New Jersey hub. Colonial said the shutdown was to investigate "odors of gasoline."
"Products futures were up on the Colonial Pipeline news and Brent crude responded and turned higher probably because the Colonial news might mean more product needed from Europe," said Phil Flynn, analyst at Price Futures Group in Chicago.
Brent's front-month contract, November, settled up 16 cents, or 0.3 percent, at $49.08 a barrel.
U.S. crude's October contract settled down 85 cents, or 1.8 percent, at $45.83 before expiring as the front month.
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