The Magpies enjoyed more of the possession in the opening exchanges but both sides struggled to create chances early in the game.
© PA Photos
Cabaye looked the most dangerous player on the pitch in the first half and he provided Papiss Cisse with a great chance to open the scoring but the striker's header was superbly pushed to safety by Adam Federici.
Reading went close to opening the scoring against the run of play following a tricky run from Garath McCleary but his cross was prodded wide by the sliding Pavel Pogrebnyak.
Cisse once again tested the reflexes of Federici midway through the first period but his half-volley was well kept out by the in-form goalkeeper.
The battle between Cisse and Federici had one more chapter before the break, with the latter once again coming out on top with a smart save from a close range effort.
Cabaye broke the deadlock in spectacular fashion as Newcastle finally beat the impressive Federici courtesy of a curled free kick.