NYMEX-Crude above $93 after hitting six-week low, China data eyed
SINGAPORE, Feb 25 (Reuters) - U.S. crude futures steadied above $93 a barrel on Monday, after falling to six-week lows in the prior session as investors worried about how long the U.S. central bank can provide stimulus to support the world's top economy and oil consumer.
Investors are also eyeing initial data that would gauge the pace of factory activity in China in February, with further signs of economic pickup likely to help push up oil prices.
* U.S. crude for April delivery was little changed at $93.13 a barrel by 0035 GMT. The contract hit a low of $92.44 on Friday, its weakest since Jan. 7 to finish the past week with its steepest loss since early December.
* Brent crude was off 7 cents at $114.03, also ending last week with its biggest loss since early December.
* HSBC will release its flash estimate for manufacturing Purchasing Managers' Index for China for February at 0145 GMT. The index hit a two-year high of 52.3 in January as domestic demand strengthened, underlining hopes the nation's economic recovery is slowly gaining momentum.
* Investors are also watching Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke's two-day testimony before lawmakers this week. Indications that the Fed may slow or halt its economic stimulus fueled a market rout this week that drove gold and copper to multi-month lows and Brent oil to its weakest in about a month.
* Italians finish voting in one of the most closely watched and unpredictable elections in years on Monday with a surge in protest votes fuelling concern that the ballot may not produce a government strong enough to pull Italy from its economic slump.
* Syrian opposition leaders will meet in Istanbul on March 2 to choose a prime minister to head a provisional government that would operate in rebel-controlled areas of Syria, coalition officials said.
* Asian shares edged higher on Monday, with investors still picking up shares battered by last week's steep plunge.
* The yen skidded to a 33-month low on reports that an advocate of aggressive monetary easing could soon head the Bank of Japan, while sterling was broadly lower following Moody's downgrade of Britain's prized triple-A sovereign rating.
0145 China HSBC Flash Manufacturing PMI
1330 U.S. National activity index
1530 U.S. Dallas Fed Manufacturing index
(Reporting by Manolo Serapio Jr.; Editing by Richard Pullin)