NYMEX-Crude stretches gains on Fed stance, China data eyed
SINGAPORE, Aug 1 (Reuters) - U.S. crude futures edged higher on Thursday, extending the prior session's nearly 2 percent jump, after the Federal Reserve gave no indication of when it will curb economic stimulus, assuring commodity markets of continued liquidity flow for now.
Investor focus turns to China's official manufacturing data due out at 0100 GMT, with the Purchasing Managers' Index seen showing manufacturing activity contracting for the first time in 10 months.
* U.S. crude for September delivery gained 27 cents to $105.30 a barrel by 0040 GMT. The contract rose almost $2 on Wednesday and ended July up nearly 9 percent in its biggest monthly gain since August 2012.
* Brent crude added 19 cents to $107.89 a barrel. It gained 5.4 percent in July, also its best monthly showing since last August.
* While the U.S. economy continues to recover, the Fed deems it is still in need of support, suggesting it may not cut its monthly $85-billion bond purchases at its next meeting in September.
* The U.S. economy expanded at a faster-than-expected 1.7 percent in the second quarter although first-quarter growth was revised down to 1.1 percent from 1.8 percent.
* China will meet its economic growth target of 7.5 percent this year as authorities will continue to implement prudent monetary policy and keep market liquidity relatively ample, the chief of the top economic planning agency said.
* U.S. private employers added 200,000 jobs in July, maintaining June's pace, and offering hope the government's comprehensive employment report on Friday could show a recent run of fairly strong job gains extended to July.
* U.S. commercial crude stockpiles rose a tad last week after four straight weeks of declines, although oil inventories at the Cushing, Oklahoma, delivery point fell for a fifth consecutive week to the lowest since April 2012.
* OPEC crude output hit a four-month low in July as unrest and conflict in Libya and Iraq disrupted supplies, according to a Reuters survey, a further unplanned cutback bringing supply closer to the organization's target.
* The U.S. dollar wallowed at six-week lows against a basket of major currencies, having slipped overnight after the Federal Reserve gave no fresh hint that it was preparing to scale back stimulus at its next meeting in September.
0100 China Official manufacturing PMI
0145 China HSBC manufacturing PMI final
0500 India HSBC Markit manufacturing PMI
0743 Italy Markit/ADACI manufacturing PMI
0753 Germany Markit/BME manufacturing PMI
0758 Euro zone Markit manufacturing PMI
1145 European Central Bank policy decision
1230 ECB President Mario Draghi holds news conference
1230 U.S. Weekly jobless claims
1400 U.S. ISM manufacturing PMI
1400 U.S. Construction spending
(Reporting by Manolo Serapio Jr.; Editing by Richard Pullin)