NYMEX-US crude hovers near 3-month low, China data eyed
SINGAPORE, Oct 18 (Reuters) - U.S. crude oil futures hovered near their lowest level in more than three months on Friday as investors weighed the economic cost of the 16-day partial U.S. government shutdown for the world's top oil consumer.
U.S. crude is on track for a second weekly decline as prices failed to stage a relief rally after U.S. lawmakers passed last-minute legislation to avoid a debt default and reopen government agencies that have been shut since Oct. 1.
* U.S. crude for November delivery was up 7 cents at $100.74 a barrel by 0025 GMT. The contract touched a session low of $100.03 on Thursday, its weakest since July 3, and was down 1.3 percent for the week so far.
* Brent crude for delivery in December gained 9 cents to $109.20. The crude benchmark has lost nearly 2 percent for the week.
* Investors are eyeing a slew of Chinese data including gross domestic product and industrial output. Analysts polled by Reuters expect the world's No. 2 economy to have grown 7.8 percent in the third quarter from a year earlier, picking up from 7.5 percent in the previous three months as firmer foreign and domestic demand lifted factory production and retail sales.
* Fast-growing oil and gas producers Russia and North America are spending billions of dollars on pipelines and port facilities to supply energy to Asia, intent on grabbing a bigger share of the world's fastest growing fuel market from Middle East suppliers.
* North America has pushed Australia out of the top spot for new Asian investment in gas development, with most of the supply from existing Australian projects sold off and buyers hunting for cheaper fuel, industry executives said this week.
The U.S. Energy Information Administration on Thursday said it will release weekly oil and natural gas inventory reports for the week ending Oct. 11 on Monday and Tuesday, respectively. The publication was delayed by the U.S. government shutdown.
* A senior western diplomat cautioned that any breakthrough in diplomacy over Iran's nuclear programme was not "close", seeking to dampen expectations the next round of talks on Nov. 7-8 could lead to a deal.
* The dollar languished near an eight-month low versus the euro as investors counted the costs of a two-week U.S. government shutdown.
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(Reporting by Manolo Serapio Jr.; Editing by Richard Pullin)