SINGAPORE Dec 19 (Reuters) - U.S. oil futures fell on Thursday as investors digested the Federal Reserve's decision to scale back its bond buying stimulus programme, even as outgoing chairman Ben Bernanke pledged the U.S. central bank would continue to support the economy.
The central bank trimmed the pace of its monthly asset purchases by $10 billion to $75 billion, while also suggesting its key interest rate would stay at rock bottom even longer than previously promised.
* U.S. crude for February delivery slipped 25 cents to $97.81 a barrel by 0036 GMT.
* February Brent crude (LCOc1) had closed at $109.63 on Wednesday, up 1 percent, or $1.19, on the day.
* Iran and six other countries including the U.S., Russia and China, will resume talks in Geneva on Thursday about how to implement a landmark nuclear agreement a week after Tehran broke off the discussions in anger at an expanding U.S. sanctions blacklist.
* India's oil imports from Iran fell 34.8 percent in April-November from a year ago despite a jump last month, giving New Delhi room to import more till March and still win another waiver of U.S. sanctions.
* European carbon prices hit a seven week high on Wednesday in thin trade and on the back of an absence of government auctions of permits.
* The U.S. dollar rose to 104.37 yen in early trade on Thursday, its highest level since October 2008, after the Federal Reserve said it will rein in its massive bond-buying stimulus.
* U.S. stocks ended Wednesday at record highs with the Dow Jones industrial average climbing 292.71 points or 1.84 percent, to end at 16,167.97, while the S&P 500 gained 29.65 points or 1.66 percent, to finish at 1,810.65. The Nasdaq Composite added 46.384 points or 1.15 percent, to close at 4,070.064.
* The following data is expected on Thursday:
- 1500 GMT Japan Bank of Japan rate decision
- 1500 GMT U.S. Philadelphia Fed business index
- 1500 GMT U.S. Existing home sales data
- 1830 GMT U.S. initial jobless claims
(Reporting by Keith Wallis; Editing by Ed Davies)