UPDATE 4-Oil hits 4-week high above $112 after US fiscal deal
* U.S. Congress passes bill to avert 'fiscal cliff'
* China manufacturing data points to economic recovery
* Coming up: U.S. Dec ISM Manufacturing PMI; 1500 GMT
(Updates throughout, changes dateline, previous SINGAPORE)
LONDON, Jan 2 (Reuters) - Brent crude oil hit a one-month high above $112 per barrel on Wednesday after the U.S. Congress approved a deal to avert a fiscal crisis, while promising data from top energy consumer China also supported prices.
The United States averted economic calamity when lawmakers approved a deal preventing huge tax hikes and spending cuts that would have pushed the world's largest economy off the "fiscal cliff" into recession.
The deal boosted investors' appetite for riskier assets and depressed the U.S. dollar against major currencies. A weaker greenback makes dollar-denominated oil more affordable for holders of other currencies.
Brent rose $1.00 to $112.11, its highest since Dec. 3, before easing back to trade around $111.75 by 0850 GMT. Brent averaged more than $111 a barrel last year, the highest annual average on record, after geopolitical threats to production offset worries about flagging oil demand.
U.S. crude was up 90 cents to $92.72 a barrel, after rising earlier to $92.85, the highest since October.
"The U.S. fiscal deal has been very positive for markets, which can now look forward to a better year ahead," said Eugen Weinberg, global head of commodities research at Germany's Commerzbank in Frankfurt.
"A combination of U.S. monetary stimulus and Chinese growth should be very positive for commodities in 2013."
Oil found support from robust Chinese data pointing to a recovery at the world's second-largest economy and second-biggest oil consumer.
China's official manufacturing purchasing managers' index held steady in December at 50.6, adding to evidence that its economy was picking up in the last three months of 2012 after slowing for seven straight quarters.
The brighter outlook has prompted speculators to raise their net long positions in Brent crude oil futures and options for a second week running, IntercontinentalExchange data showed on Monday.
Technical charts showed Brent could rise further to $112.41 a barrel after breaking through a resistance at $111.31, Reuters market analyst Wang Tao said.
Analysts expect tensions in the Middle East to help support oil this year.
Iran is carrying out naval drills in the Strait of Hormuz, showcasing its military capability in the shipping route through which 40 percent of the world's sea-borne oil exports pass.
Iran has threatened to block the strait if it comes under military attack over its disputed nuclear programme. The United States has said it would not tolerate any obstruction of commercial traffic through the strait.
Fighting continued in Syria as government war planes bombed opposition-held areas on New Year's Day.
(Additional reporting by Florence Tan in Singapore; Editing by Alison Birrane)