TOKYO, May 30 (Reuters) - U.S. crude futures fell below $93 a barrel on Thursday, extending declines from a near 2-percent drop a day earlier, pressured by weak shares and an unexpected rise in U.S. crude inventories.
* NYMEX crude for July delivery was down 26 cents at $92.87 a barrel by 0000 GMT, after settling down $1.88 at $93.13 on Wednesday.
* Investors fear that stronger U.S. data could prompt the U.S. Federal Reserve to scale back its stimulus programme, which has helped push money into riskier assets such as commodities.
* London Brent crude for July delivery was down 15 cents at $102.28, after settling down $1.80.
* U.S. crude inventories unexpectedly rose by 4.4 million barrels last week, American Petroleum Institute data showed after the settlement on Wednesday, compared with expectations of a fall of 400,000 barrels in a Reuters poll.
* API data also showed gasoline inventories climbed by 1.9 million barrels, a larger build than a forecast rise of 100,000 barrels. Distillate inventories rose by 3.1 million barrels compared with projections for unchanged stocks.
* OPEC oil ministers look set to keep oil output targets steady for 2013 at a meeting on Friday, with representatives signaling they are happy with current price levels.
* Traders were also closely watching the conflict in Syria that has underpinned concerns about supply from the Middle East, buoying oil prices.
* Britain and France said they did not have to wait until Aug. 1 to arm rebels fighting Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, and Russia said it would not scrap plans to deliver an air defence system to the conflict-ridden nation.
* U.S. shares fell on Wednesday as high-yielding dividend stocks lost some of their lustre after recent gains in U.S. Treasury bond yields.
* The dollar retreated across the board on Wednesday, although most investors are convinced the greenback’s upward trend is intact.
* The following data is expected on Thursday: (Time in GMT)
- 0545 Swiss GDP/Q1
- 0900 Euro Zone Business climate/May
- 1230 U.S. GDP Preliminary/Q1
- 1230 U.S. Initial jobless claims
- 1400 U.S. Pending home sales/April (Reporting by Osamu Tsukimori; Editing by Joseph Radford)