UPDATE 1-Brent rises toward $110 as data shows China oil demand strong

Florence Tan
Tuesday, 10 Dec 2013 | 2:24 AM ET

* China Nov implied oil demand up 1.5 pct vs Oct - Reuters calculations

* WTI-Brent spread narrows as TransCanada fills pipeline

* U.S. crude inventories down 2.7 million barrels last week - poll

* Coming up: U.S. API weekly oil stocks; 2130 GMT

(Adds analyst's quotes, updates prices)

SINGAPORE, Dec 10 (Reuters) - Brent crude rose toward $110 a barrel on Tuesday, recouping some of the previous session's sharp losses, as data from China reaffirmed signs of stabilising growth and fuel demand in the world's second-largest oil consumer.

China's implied oil demand rose 1.5 percent in November to about 9.94 million barrels per day (bpd) from October and was the highest level in five months, according to Reuters calculations based on preliminary government data.

Brent crude for January gained 50 cents to $109.89 a barrel by 0635 GMT, after a 2 percent drop on Monday, its biggest daily loss since Nov. 1 when it fell 2.7 percent.

U.S. crude futures for January delivery were at $97.69 a barrel, up 35 cents, after its first decline in seven sessions on Monday.

"If you look at the sequential growth, China's oil demand is stabilising," said Sijin Cheng, analyst at Barclays Capital. The end of maintenance at a major southern refinery and tighter diesel supply could point to higher crude runs in December, she said.

Chinese government reforms are expected to support demand for commodities such as energy and metals, said Mark Keenan, a commodities strategist at Societe Generale in Singapore.

Brent was also underpinned by persistently low output at Libya at 250,000 barrels per day (bpd), down from 1.4 million bpd in 2012. Blockades of the eastern terminals and intermittent disruptions in the west could cap output at 800,000 bpd in 2014, Adam Longson, a commodities strategist at Morgan Stanley, wrote in a note.

Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif said new sanctions from the U.S. Congress on Iran will end its nuclear deal with major powers, Time Magazine reported. The November deal had raised the prospect of more oil supply and deflated a risk premium in oil prices.

On Monday, Brent posted its biggest daily percentage drop in nearly six weeks following weak economic data from Germany.

Traders also sold Brent to unwind bets on its spread with West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude as a new pipeline and year-end crude stock drawdowns could reduce supply at WTI's delivery point in Cushing, Oklahoma.

"Closer to the Brent market, the German data has highlighted a reasonably disjointed recovery within Europe," Keenan of Societe Generale said. "Hence, we saw a pretty strong move yesterday combined with the reduction in speculative activity on Brent-WTI spread."

Brent's premium to WTI <CL-LCO1=R> has narrowed about $7 in nearly two weeks as TransCanada Corp has begun filling a 700,000 barrel-per-day pipeline, which will transport crude from Cushing to Gulf Coast refiners.

"The inventories within Cushing and the landlocked pricing region can be drained quicker. That has stimulated the liquidation of that spread which entails selling Brent and buying WTI," Keenan said.

WTI may strengthen further as U.S. commercial crude oil stocks are forecast to have fallen for a second week last week by 2.7 million barrels, a Reuters poll of analysts showed.

(Editing by Simon Cameron-Moore and Muralikumar Anantharaman)

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