UPDATE 6-Brent crude up, premium to U.S. crude higher
* China economic data in due this week in focus
* Coming up: API oil stocks data 4:30 p.m. EDT Tuesday
(Recasts with updated prices, market activity; changes dateline, pvs LONDON)
NEW YORK, Jan 8 (Reuters) - Brent crude edged higher and U.S. heating oil futures received support from winter temperatures, while U.S. crude slipped as Wall Street equities dipped and the dollar strengthened.
After testing below $18 a barrel on Monday, the Brent premium to U.S. crude <CL-LCO1=R> found support just above $18 and widened to near $19.
The Brent-U.S. crude spread has narrowed from above $20 a barrel late in December, on expectations that the expansion of the Seaway pipeline in January will start to ease the crude stocks glut in the U.S. Midwest, especially the huge Cushing, Oklahoma, hub.
Investors were anticipating trade data from China due later in the week, seeking confirmation that the world's No. 2 oil consuming nation is continuing to revive its recently slowed pace of economic growth.
Brent February crude rose 58 cents to $111.98 a barrel by 11:51 a.m. EST (1651 GMT), having reached a session peak of $112.47.
U.S. February crude was down 12 cents at $93.07 a barrel, having swung from $92.67 to $93.80.
Brent's premium to U.S. crude rose to near $19 a barrel, after testing below $18 on Monday. The spread found support just above $18 a barrel early in Tuesday's session.
"U.S. crude traded lower with the S&P 500's weakness, and the dollar is stronger, and investors are worried about the debt ceiling and budget cut fights coming up now that the fiscal cliff was avoided," said Gene McGillian, analyst at Tradition Energy.
"The Brent spread to U.S. crude holding above $18 may attract some buying after it fell back from above $20," McGillian added.
Colder weather in the Northern Hemisphere helped push U.S. heating oil futures up nearly 1 percent, traders and analysts said.
Trade numbers due on Thursday from China may show export growth rebounded from three-month lows in December, although weak demand in the United States and Europe, the country's two biggest customers, may temper the improvement.
"There are now very clear indications that this slowdown has come to an end," Credit Suisse analysts said in a report.
"The latest leading economic indicators show that global growth is gaining again - particularly in key commodity consuming countries such as China and the U.S."
European Central Bank policymakers will meet on Thursday, and economists polled by Reuters were split on whether the bank would cut rates in 2013 after the regional economy shrank for three straight quarters last year.
Oil traders particularly await this week's U.S. oil inventory reports from industry and government after the most recent reports showed sharp drops in crude oil stockpiles.
Commercial crude oil stockpiles were expected to have fallen by 300,000 barrels in the week to Jan. 4, according to a preliminary Reuters survey of analysts on Monday.
(Reporting by Robert Gibbons in New York, Peg Mackey in London and Ramya Venugopal in Singapore; Editing by David Gregorio)