SINGAPORE, Oct 24 (Reuters) - U.S. oil futures rose for the first session in four on Thursday, though gains may be capped by rising crude stockpiles in the world's top consumer that dragged prices to their weakest in nearly four months in the prior session.
* U.S. crude for December delivery was up 44 cents at $97.30 a barrel by 0032 GMT. The contract touched $96.16 on Wednesday, its lowest since July 1.
* The U.S. or West Texas Intermediate crude has lost about 3.5 percent so far this week amid growing U.S. oil inventories.
* U.S. crude oil stocks rose by 5.2 million barrels last week, the fifth-largest build of the year, with stocks at the Cushing hub rising for the second week in a row, data from the U.S. Energy Information Administration showed. Over the past four weeks, inventories have risen by 22 million barrels, the biggest four-week build since April 2012 and the second largest since February 2009.
* Brent oil dropped 8 cents to $107.72 a barrel. Brent's premium to U.S. crude <CL-LCO1=R> grew to as much as $13.40 on Wednesday, the widest since early April.
* Key for Asian investors this morning would be China's preliminary Purchasing Managers' Index reading from HSBC amid renewed concerns about the outlook for the world's No. 2 economy. Chinese money-market rates rose to three-month highs on Wednesday after the central bank failed to inject cash for a second day as regulators showed signs of concern that loose liquidity might be fuelling another round of risky credit growth.
* Rosneft has cut its output forecast for a field that is pivotal to its Asian export strategy, even as boss Igor Sechin pledges more oil for China and seeks cash backing from Beijing to fund ambitious expansion plans and ease debt.
* The dollar edged up against major counterparts, but was hemmed in recent ranges as investors remained cautious about liquidity conditions in China.
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
1230 U.S. International trade
1258 U.S. Markit Manufacturing Flash PMI
1400 U.S. New home sales
(Reporting by Manolo Serapio Jr.; Editing by Ed Davies)