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UPDATE 6-Oil falls as sluggish U.S. jobs growth adds to demand fears

Collin Eaton

* U.S. job growth slows for seventh month, more than expected

* Brent set for fourth weekly gain, WTI for second weekly increase

* Coming Up: U.S. rig count at 1 p.m. (1700 GMT) (Updates prices, adds U.S. jobs report, commentary; Changes byline, dateline, previous LONDON)

HOUSTON, Sept 6 (Reuters) - Oil prices slipped on Friday as U.S.-China trade tensions and a disappointing U.S. jobs report stoked concerns about sluggish crude demand growth.

The early September end of driving season in the United States, the world's largest oil consumer, and the coming start of refinery maintenance season is also weighing on crude prices and demand, analysts said.

Brent crude was down 24 cents, or 0.4%, at $60.71 a barrel by 10:56 a.m. CDT (1556 GMT), while U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude fell 52 cents, or 0.9%, to $55.78.

U.S. job growth in August slowed for the seventh month in a row, with nonfarm payrolls expanding by 130,000, about 28,000 less than economists polled by Reuters had forecast for the world's top oil consumer.

"Oil is under pressure given the disappointing U.S. jobs report that came out and due to revisions of economic data that could weigh on demand growth prospects," said Andy Lipow, president of Lipow Oil Associates in Houston.

Global oil demand could grow by just 900,000 barrels per day (bpd) in 2019 and 2020, UBS oil analyst Giovanni Staunovo said in a note analysing oil market trends.

Other forecasts of oil demand growth have been reduced to around 1 million bpd, down from earlier predictions of about 1.3 million bpd, analysts said.

The prolonged trade dispute between the United States and China, the world's second-largest oil consumer, has had a dampening effect on oil prices, though they have risen over the year thanks partly to production cuts led by the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries and Russia to drain inventories.

Beijing and Washington on Thursday agreed to hold high-level talks in early October. The news cheered investors hoping for an end to a trade war that has brought tit-for-tat tariffs between the world's two biggest economies, chipping away at economic growth.

"If trade tensions escalate further, oil demand growth may soften even more, requiring much lower prices," Staunovo said, forecasting Brent to trade around $55 a barrel next year.

Brent was still set to register its fourth consecutive weekly gain, rising 0.56%, while U.S. crude was up 1.4%, on track for a second weekly rise, boosted mainly due to Wednesday's upbeat economic data from China, the world's second-largest oil consumer and largest importer.

WTI had an additional boost after the Energy Information Administration (EIA) said on Thursday that U.S. crude inventories last week fell sharply - nearly double expectations - and for a third consecutive week.

Oil prices soared more than 2% after the EIA report, though they gradually trimmed gains on investor doubts over the chances that the trade talks will yield results.

"We're leaving the U.S. driving season," said Robert Yawger, director of energy futures at Mizuho in New York. "It's a very vulnerable position. The biggest worry is concerns about demand growth and that's a function of the trade war."

U.S. crude production remains close to weekly record highs, despite a record-tying nine months of cuts in the number of rigs drilling for oil.

The latest weekly U.S. rig count, usually an indicator of future production, is due at about 1 p.m. EDT (1700 GMT).

(Additional reporting by Noah Browning in LONDON and Aaron Sheldrick Editing by Marguerita Choy and David Evans)