SEOUL, May 22 (Reuters) - U.S. crude oil futures held just below $104 on Thursday after a steep jump in the previous session, supported by a large draw in U.S. commercial crude stocks and renewed fighting in oil-producing Libya.
* U.S. crude eased 24 cents to $103.83 a barrel as of 0000 GMT. It settled up $1.74 at $104.07 a barrel on Wednesday, its biggest one-day gain in six weeks after rising as much as $1.96 to an intra-session high of $104.29.
* Brent crude fell 2 cents tp $110.53 a barrel after it settled 86 cents up at $110.55 a barrel in the previous session.
* U.S. crude stocks fell last week as imports slumped to the lowest since 1997, while gasoline and distillate inventories rose, data from the Energy Information Administration showed on Wednesday.
* Crude inventories fell 7.2 million barrels in the last week, compared with analysts’ expectations for an increase of 750,000 barrels. The drop was smaller than the over-10-million-barrel drop reported on Tuesday by the industry group American Petroleum Institute (API).
* Libya’s major western oilfields remain closed 10 days after the government said protesters blocking pipeline flows had agreed to leave, while total oil output edged higher, a spokesman for National Oil Corp said on Wednesday.
* Only the small 30,000-barrels-per-day (bpd) Wafa field was producing normally in the west, NOC spokesman Mohammed El Harari said. Oil output was around 230,000 bpd, he said, slightly higher than earlier this week at 210,000 bpd but well below the country’s 1.6 million bpd capacity.
* Explosions and heavy fighting with anti-aircraft guns could be heard near two military camps in Libya’s capital Tripoli early Wednesday, witnesses said, two days after gunmen had stormed parliament in the worst violence in months.
* Russia said on Wednesday that troops deployed for exercises near the Ukrainian border had dismantled equipment and were moving to train stations and airfields for return to their permanent bases, but the United States and NATO said they saw no clear signs of a pullout.
* The dollar gained against the yen for the first time in six sessions on Wednesday as Federal Reserve minutes suggested the U.S. central bank will keep reducing its stimulus plan, while world stock markets bounced back from the previous day’s drop.
* The following data is expected on Thursday: (Time in GMT)
0145 China HSBC Manufacturing PMI Flash May
0700 France Markit Manufacturing PMI Flash May
0730 Germany Markit Manufacturing PMI Flash May
0800 Euro zone Markit Manufacturing PMI Flash May
1230 U.S. Weekly jobless claims
1230 U.S. National Activity index April
1345 U.S. Markit Manufacturing PMI Flash May
1400 U.S. Existing home sales April
1400 U.S. Leading index April (Reporting by Meeyoung Cho; Editing by Richard Pullin)