UPDATE 6-Oil hits over 3 month high on upbeat China, U.S. data
* China HSBC flash PMI hits two-year high in January
* No date for full resumption of Seaway deliveries
* U.S. jobless claims fall to five-year low
* U.S. crude inventories rise 2.81 million barrels on week-EIA
(Updates prices, adds detail)
LONDON, Jan 24 (Reuters) - Brent crude oil prices rose above $113 a barrel on Thursday, underpinned by upbeat data from China, Germany and the United States, while U.S. crude rebounded as capacity constraints at the Seaway pipeline are now seen as short-lived.
Brent crude futures for March delivery were up 61 cents at $113.41 a barrel by 1623 GMT, hitting over a three-month high, but gains were capped by rising global oil supplies.
Carsten Fritsch, an oil analyst at Commerzbank in Frankfurt, said that Brent was essentially trading sideways. "We have moved gradually higher since the beginning of the week, but oversupply is still hampering moves to the upside. However, the Chinese PMI data will help maintain the upwards move."
U.S. crude was up $1.35 cents at $96.58, rebounding from a 1.5 percent fall on Wednesday on rising deliveries through the Seaway pipeline linking Cushing to the U.S. Gulf coast.
However, Enterprise Product Partners said on Thursday it had no timeline for the restoration of full rates on the Seaway crude oil pipeline, adding it had been forced to curtail throughput on the line due to factors beyond its control.
"The Seaway news is helping lift U.S. crude and narrowing the spread to Brent, and the jobless claims numbers and China data were supportive," said Phil Flynn, an analyst at Price Futures Group in Chicago.
U.S. crude had sold off heavily in the previous session after the surprise news that Seaway had cut its crude flow by more than half to 175,000 barrels per day (bpd). This had previously raised fears that oil stocks at key delivery point Cushing would continue to balloon, pressuring U.S. crude oil prices.
Both oil contracts were supported by a stream of positive data from all corners of the globe, including Chinese and eurozone manufacturing activity and U.S. weekly jobless claims.
Equities, commodities and other risk assets were supported from the session opening after HSBC's flash purchasing managers' index (PMI) showed that growth in China's factory sector had accelerated to a two-year high in January.
This suggested the country's economy was rebounding after a prolonged period of sluggishness, and that demand for commodities such as oil should pick up.
Natalie Rampono, a commodities analyst at ANZ, said China's oil demand could grow by more than 7 percent to 11.3 million barrels per day (bpd) this year.
The eurozone also took a step closer to recovery with Markit's Flash Composite Eurozone PMI jumping to 48.2 in January from December's 47.2, smashing expectations for a rise to 47.5.
Fresh momentum came from the United States as the session wore on, with weekly jobless claims falling to the lowest level since January 2008.
U.S. manufacturing also delivered its strongest showing since March 2011.
Brent remains near the top of its trading range, and analysts like Olivier Jakob, oil analyst at Petromatrix, believe it is vulnerable to a downward correction.
Jakob pointed to the increase in spare capacity in Saudi Arabia and the reduced likelihood of an Israeli attack on Iran following this week's election results.
U.S. crude inventories rose last week as refining rates fell sharply, government data from the Energy Information Administration showed on Thursday.
"With the current focus on crude oil, the report is bearish, due to the sizeable increase in oil inventories. The draw in Cushing, Oklahoma, inventories only mildly reduces this bearish element," John Kilduff, partner at Again Capital in New York said.
Crude inventories rose 2.81 million barrels in the week to Jan. 18, compared with expectations for a 1.8 million barrel rise. U.S. refinery utilization fell 4.3 percentage points to 83.6 percent of total capacity, EIA data showed.
(Additional reporting by Florence Tan in Singapore and Robert Gibbons in New York; Editing by Alison Birrane)