UPDATE 3-Oil rises near $109 on demand outlook, supply cuts
* China official PMI better than expected, Euro zone sees growth
* U.S. private hiring beats forecasts
* Supply disruptions in Libya, Iraq trim supply
(Previous SINGAPORE, updates prices)
LONDON, Aug 1 (Reuters) - Oil rose $1 towards $109 a barrel on Thursday as upbeat economic data from China and Europe pointed to a stronger demand outlook and unrest in Libya and Iraq disrupted supplies.
China's official purchasing manager's index came in higher than expected on Thursday and a survey showed euro zone manufacturing returned to growth in July, suggesting the region may pull out of recession this quarter.
Brent crude gained 98 cents to $108.68 a barrel by 0944 GMT, after ending July with the largest monthly percentage gain since August 2012. U.S. crude climbed $1.17 to $106.20.
"The main reason is better-than-expected data from China and also the fact that the Fed did not give any hint about ceasing stimulus," said Carsten Fritsch, analyst at Commerzbank in Frankfurt.
The U.S. central bank on Wednesday said the economy continued to recover but was still in need of support, offering no sign it is planning to curb its bond buying at its next meeting in September. That stimulus has broadly underpinned commodity prices.
Further brightening the U.S. economic outlook, a survey showed private employers added 200,000 jobs in July, offering hope the government's comprehensive employment report on Friday could also indicate healthy job gains.
Concern over supplies from Libya, Iraq and Nigeria is also underpinnng prices. The disruptions helped trim OPEC output to a four-month low in July, according to a Reuters survey.
Europe's biggest oil company, Royal Dutch Shell, said on Thursday a surge in oil theft in Nigeria was among the factors that hit its second-quarter profit.
Lending further support, oil inventories at the Cushing, Oklahoma, delivery point for the U.S. crude contract fell for a fifth straight week, government data showed on Wednesday, although overall stocks increased.
(Reporting by Jessica Jaganathan and Alex Lawler; Editing by David Evans)