SINGAPORE, May 8 (Reuters) - U.S. crude held just below $101 a barrel in early Asian trading on Thursday, holding onto most of the gains made in the previous session when oil prices rose by more than $1 on both sides of the Atlantic after an unexpected drop in U.S. inventories.
* U.S. crude for June delivery was 1 cents lower at $100.76 per barrel by 0021 GMT, after settling $1.27 higher.
* Brent crude was down 14 cents at $107.99 per barrel. The contract had settled $1.07 higher.
* The U.S. Energy Information Administration said U.S. crude inventories fell 1.8 million barrels last week, compared with analyst' forecasts for a 1.4-million-barrel build.
* Stocks fell 1.4 million barrels at the Cushing, Oklahoma, delivery point of the U.S. futures contract, to their lowest since 2008.
* Libyan rebels occupying major oil ports in the east said on Wednesday they would boycott Prime Minister Ahmed Maiteeq and keep two major export terminals shut for now, a blow to efforts to restore vital oil exports.
* Global oil prices could come under pressure after Russian President Vladimir Putin called on pro-Moscow separatists in Ukraine to postpone a vote on secession just five days before it was to be held, potentially pulling Ukraine back from the brink of violent dismemberment.
* Asian shares rose after Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen indicated continued central bank support for the U.S. economy.
* Australia's market gained 0.7 percent in early business , while MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan edged up 0.2 percent.
* The following data is expected on Thursday: (Time in GMT)
- 0200 China April trade data
- 1230 U.S. weekly initial job claims
- 1400 U.S. ISM manufacturing PMI
(Reporting by Jacob Gronholt-Pedersen; Editing by Ed Davies)