NYMEX-Crude drops for 4th day after Fed minutes, China data eyed
SINGAPORE, Aug 22 (Reuters) - U.S. crude oil futures slipped for a fourth session running on Thursday after minutes from the Federal Reserve's July meeting did little to alter expectations that the U.S. central bank could start tapering its economic stimulus next month.
* U.S. crude for October delivery eased 24 cents to $103.61 a barrel by 0105 GMT. The contract traded at the weakest in almost two weeks on Wednesday at $103.50.
* October Brent crude slipped 21 cents to $109.60 a barrel.
* While a few members of the policy-making Federal Open Market Committee stressed the need to evaluate more information on the U.S. economy, others suggested it might soon be time to slow the pace of the purchases.
* Investors are awaiting the HSBC manufacturing flash Purchasing Managers' Index for China. Price declines linked to the U.S. stimulus jitters may be capped or reversed if the HSBC survey points to further stabilisation in the Chinese economy after last week's surprisingly upbeat factory and trade data.
* Signs that Libyan oil exports would resume soon should also help limit losses in oil prices.
* About half of Libya's more than 1.2 million barrels per day of crude oil export capacity is out of action because of strikes and civil unrest, but officials said that some ports have reopened and more shipments could restart within days.
* Asian markets took a spill after minutes from the Federal Reserve's July policy meeting showed it was still on track to start tapering stimulus as early as next month, sending Treasury yields to two-year highs. The dollar edged higher versus the yen and euro.
0145 China HSBC Manufacturing Flash PMI
0658 France Markit Manufacturing Flash PMI
0728 Germany Markit Manufacturing Flash PMI
0758 Euro zone Markit Manufacturing Flash PMI
1230 U.S. Weekly jobless claims
1258 U.S. Markit Manufacturing Flash PMI
1300 U.S. FHFA home price index
1400 U.S. Leading indicators
(Reporting by Manolo Serapio Jr.; Editing by Ed Davies)