NYMEX-U.S. crude trades near 2-week high, close to $98
SINGAPORE, July 2 (Reuters) - U.S. crude futures traded just below $98 a barrel on Tuesday, not far off a two-week high, as positive U.S. economic data buoyed the fuel demand outlook in the world's largest oil consumer.
U.S. commercial crude stocks likely fell last week due to lower imports resulting from pipeline problems in Canada and higher refinery activity, a Reuters poll of seven analysts showed.
Investors were also closely monitoring an uprising in Egypt that could threaten oil supply in the Middle East.
* U.S. crude futures for August delivery inched down 4 cents to $97.95 per barrel by 0007 GMT after settling up 1.5 percent on Monday.
* Brent crude futures for August delivery edged down 1 cent to $102.99 a barrel.
* Brent's premium to U.S. crude <CL-LCO1=R> widened slightly to about $5 a barrel after hitting a low of $4.75 on Monday, the narrowest since January 2011.
* U.S. manufacturing staged a modest rebound in June even as hiring declined sharply but activity among China's large goods producers slowed to multi-month lows as global demand weakened.
* Canadian pipeline operator Enbridge Inc has restarted the northern leg of its 345,000 barrel per day Athabasca oil pipeline in Alberta as weather conditions improved after severe flooding hit the western Canadian province, the company said.
* BP Plc said on Monday it completed the commissioning and startup of a new 250,000 barrel per day (bpd) crude distillation unit at its 413,000 bpd Whiting, Indiana, refinery.
* Egypt's armed forces handed Islamist President Mohamed Mursi a virtual ultimatum to share power on Monday, giving feuding politicians 48 hours to compromise or have the army impose its own road map for the country.
* New protests have shut down several Libyan oilfields, cutting output by around a third, industry sources said, as Libya struggles to maintain stability in an industry vital to the economy and state revenue.
* Additional cargoes in the past week boosted oil exports from top African producer Nigeria to 1.72 million barrels per day (bpd) in August, but the figure was still at a four-year low, shipping lists showed.
* The vice presidents of Sudan and South Sudan pledged on Monday to resolve a conflict over Juba's alleged support for rebels that is threatening cross-border oil flows, but failed to offer any concrete solutions.
* Output at Britain's Buzzard oilfield is building up to the normal rate of 200,000 barrels per day (bpd) and maintenance that led to a dip in supply is expected to be completed later on Monday or on Tuesday, an industry source said.
* Japan's Nikkei share average is expected to open higher on Tuesday and may test 14,000, a level not seen since late May, as U.S. manufacturing and construction data added to signs of an improving economy.
* U.S. stocks ended higher on the first day of the third quarter on Monday, supported by signs of strength in manufacturing and construction sectors. But the major U.S. stock indexes pulled back from their session highs late in the day as investors sold some shares to book profits.
* The U.S. dollar and yen were both on the back foot on Tuesday as a swathe of global industry data suggested an improvement in growth without being strong enough to risk any reduction in monetary stimulus from the Federal Reserve.
* The following data is expected on Tuesday:
- 0400 GMT U.S. Total vehicle sales Dec
- 0430 GMT Australia RBA cash rate Jul
- 1145 GMT U.S. ICSC chain stores yy Weekly
- 1200 GMT Brazil Industrial output yy May
- 2030 GMT U.S. API weekly crude stocks
- 2030 GMT U.S. API weekly dist. stocks
- 2030 GMT U.S. API weekly gasoline stocks
(Reporting by Florence Tan; Editing by Richard Pullin)