* China's April PMI at 53.3 vs 53.1 in March
* Spain in recession, US economic growth appears to slow
* U.S. crude stocks to post 6th weekly rise - poll
(Updates previous Singapore)
LONDON, May 1 (Reuters) - Oil held above $119 a barrel on
Tuesday as economic expansion in China helped counter a sluggish
U.S. economy and bubbling euro zone debt crisis that could
depress demand for fuel.
China's factory sector grew at a slightly higher rate in
April from the previous month, a sign its economy may have
bottomed out in the first quarter.
The world's no. 2 oil consumer is expected to account for
nearly half of global incremental oil demand this year.
Brent crude edged up 9 cents to $119.56 a barrel by
0829 GMT. U.S. crude ticked up 3 cents to $104.90.
"China is still in an expansionary phase and we saw a slight
tick-up on the month," said Ben Le Brun, a Sydney-based market
analyst at OptionXpress. "That will offset that negativity we
saw filtered through from Europe last night."
But debt woes in Europe continued to cast a pall over the
region's economies, with Spain, the fourth-largest economy in
the euro zone, sinking into recession in the first quarter.
In the United States, where the economy slowed going into
the second quarter, spending increased only modestly last month
and a gauge of Midwest business activity fell
Higher OPEC output in April as well as analysts'
expectations for a sixth weekly rise in U.S. crude inventories
due in part to rising domestic production could also weigh on
OPEC's April output was at its highest since 2008 as extra
crude from Iraq and Saudi Arabia helped make up for tighter
sanctions on Iran, whose own oil output sank to the lowest in
two decades, a Reuters survey found.
Iraq's crude exports rose to 2.508 million barrels per day
(bpd) in April from 2.317 million bpd in March as new offshore
export terminals helped increase sales, the head of its State
Oil Marketing Organisation said on Tuesday.
"Unless OPEC curtails production - which we see as unlikely
in today's elevated price environment - inventories should build
above-normal through the third quarter," said Morgan Stanley.
"A diplomatic solution to Iran's nuclear ambitions or a
coordinated SPR (strategic petroleum reserves) release, both of
which are increasingly possible, may also present additional
(Reporting by Peg Mackey, additional reporting by Florence Tan
in Singapore, editing by William Hardy)