NYMEX-Crude steady above $95 after sliding on pipeline volume cut
SINGAPORE, Jan 24 (Reuters) - U.S. crude futures steadied around $95 a barrel on Thursday after falling by more than a dollar in the previous session on worries inventories in the U.S. Midwest could surge after a key oil pipeline cut the volume flowing through it.
* U.S. crude for March delivery was little changed at $95.15 a barrel by 0059 GMT. The contract lost $1.45 on Wednesday, and pulled away from four-month highs hit earlier in the session.
* The price slid after shippers received notification that the newly expanded 400,000 barrels per day (bpd) Seaway pipeline had slashed rates to 175,000 bpd due to delivery constraints. The pipeline bottlenecks could lead to more oil accumulating in Cushing where futures contracts are delivered.
Investors are eyeing data that measures manufacturing activity in China. The HSBC Purchasing Managers' Index will be the first economic indicator for China this year and the number should surpass December's 51.5 to spur a rally in commodity prices. Last month's figure was the highest since May 2011, and investors need stronger evidence that manufacturing activity has turned more brisk to support expectations of better Chinese economic growth in the first half.
* Japan incurred a record trade deficit in 2012 as exports continued to slide in December in a worrying signal that the effects of a weaker yen and the new government's moves to boost the economy with fiscal and monetary stimulus have been slow in coming.
* In South Korea, the economy picked up slightly in the final quarter of 2012 on resilient private consumption, but a firm recovery will likely be delayed until global demand gathers momentum.
* The U.S. House of Representatives passed a Republican plan to allow the federal government to keep borrowing money through mid-May, clearing it for fast enactment after the top Senate Democrat and White House endorsed it.
* Exxon Mobil may be moving closer to Baghdad's side in its bitter feud with autonomous Kurdistan, industry sources said, with a sweeter deal to keep it operating in southern Iraq on the table.
* Asian shares fell as investors were cautious ahead of the manufacturing data from China, while a sharp slide in Apple Inc shares following its earnings report also capped demand.
* The yen's rebound came to a halt with investors wary about cutting bearish bets further amid expectations the Bank of Japan will come under renewed pressure to ease policy.
0145 China HSBC Manufacturing Flash PMI
0758 France Markit Manufacturing Flash PMI
0828 Germany Markit Manufacturing Flash PMI
0858 Euro zone Markit Manufacturing Flash PMI
0900 Euro Zone Current account
1330 U.S. Weekly jobless claims
1358 U.S. Markit Manufacturing Flash PMI
1500 U.S. Leading indicators
1600 U.S. EIA weekly petroleum report
(Reporting by Manolo Serapio Jr.; Editing by Joseph Radford)