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UPDATE 6-Oil prices edge higher as Saudi reassurances stem declines

Ron Bousso and Noah Browning

* U.S. trade wars threaten growth -analysts

* Saudi Arabia promises to manage global oil supplies

* May saw biggest price drop since Nov:

* Surging U.S. oil supply also weighs: (Adds possible strike in Norway, updates prices)

LONDON, June 3 (Reuters) - Oil prices edged higher on Monday after reassurances from top oil exporter Saudi Arabia offered some respite from last week's heavy losses as deepening U.S. trade wars fanned fears of a global economic slowdown.

Saudi, the de-facto leader of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries, indicated that the group of oil producers together with Russia would continue managing global crude supplies to avoid a surplus.

"We will do what is needed to sustain market stability beyond June. To me, that means drawing down inventories from their currently elevated levels," the Saudi-owned Arab News newspaper cited the kingdom's Energy Minister Khalid al-Falih as saying.

Front-month Brent crude futures were at $62.48 at 1026 GMT, up 49 cents, or 0.79%, above Friday's close. Prices dropped by more than 3% on Friday, with May recording the biggest monthly loss in six months.

U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures were at $53.95 per barrel, up 45 cents, or 0.84%.

"Saudi Arabia's preference for continuing with, or even deepening, the OPEC+ output cut commitment has also provided a lift to prices," said Abhishek Kumar, head of analytics at Interfax Energy in London.

"Nevertheless, the escalating trade war of the United States with China, the European Union and Mexico will cap price gains in the run-up to the OPEC+ meeting."

The group's next meeting is scheduled for late June.

Global markets have skidded in recent weeks on concerns the economy could stall amid rising trade tensions between the United States and China, the world's two largest economies and biggest energy consumers.

Fears over trade intensified when U.S. President Donald Trump announced punitive tariffs against Mexico, a major oil supplier to the United States.

"Traders are increasingly pricing in a prolonged trade war hitting the global economy," said Jasper Lawler, head of research at futures brokerage London Capital Group.

The prospect of a cut in Norway's oil and gas output of about 440,000 barrels of oil equivalents per day, or about 11% of total production, if workers go on strike from June 4 also supported prices.

Reflecting the cautious market mood, gold rose to its highest level in more than two months on Monday as investors pulled out of higher risk assets and parked money in perceived safe havens.

Brent crude prices have dropped almost 20% from their 2018 peak as global supplies tighten following output curbs by OPEC and Russia, as well as a drop in Iranian exports due to U.S. sanctions and Venezuelan production.

Saudi Arabia pumped 9.65 million barrels of oil per day (bpd) in May, a deeper cut than its production target under the global pact to reduce oil supply, a Saudi oil industry source said on Monday.

The Saudi output target under the OPEC-led pact is 10.3 million bpd.

(Additional reporting by Henning Gloystein in Singapore, Shadia Nasralla in London; Editing by Richard Pullin, Louise Heavens and Kirsten Donovan)