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UPDATE 3-Oil slips towards $112 as growth worries weigh

* Weak demand outlook to pressure oil, but supply risks remain

* Iranian rial falls 9 pct versus dollar as sanctions bite * Coming up: API weekly oil stocks; 2030 GMT

(Updates throughout, changes dateline, previous SINGAPORE)

By Christopher Johnson

LONDON, Oct 2 (Reuters) - Brent crude oil slipped to around $112 a barrel on Tuesday as investors weighed a weaker outlook for fuel demand and sluggish economic growth against the risk of possible supply disruptions.

Global economic activity has slowed this year, curbing the growth in fuel demand in Asia, Europe and the United States but investors are worried an unexpected disruption to supplies from the Middle East or elsewhere could force prices higher.

U.S. manufacturing unexpectedly grew last month for the first time since May but euro zone factories suffered their worst quarter since early 2009 and China lost steam.

Brent crude oil futures for November were down 5 cents at $112.14 a barrel by 0940 GMT. U.S. crude rose 20 cents to $92.68.

"Economic data is bearish for oil and the immediate risk for prices is to the downside," said Tamas Varga, oil analyst at brokers PVM Oil Associates in London.

"But geopolitics is supporting the market. It may be very unlikely, but investors are still worried there could be a war in the Middle East. And, as long as stories about Iranian nuclear operations keep coming, those worries are not going to go away."

Tension between Iran and the West is high with the United States and Europe imposing sanctions on the Islamic Republic in an attempt to stop the development of an Iranian nuclear bomb.

This has removed around 1 million barrels per day (bpd) of Iranian crude oil from the global market and put massive pressure on the Iranian economy.

Iran's rial plunged at least 9 percent to a record low of about 37,500 to the dollar on Tuesday.

<^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^ Brent 24-hour technical outlook: WTI 24-hour technical outlook: ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^> SLOWDOWN

An even more unstable Iran would pose risks for the Middle East, the world's most important exporter of oil, but most investors think the chances of war are low, despite bellicose rhetoric on both sides.

Of more immediate concern to markets is the global economic slowdown that has pushed many European countries into deep recession. European manufacturing activity has fallen to levels not seen since early 2009.

Spain could be about to request a euro zone bailout although it could face resistance from Germany, European officials have said, suggesting a solution to the crisis remains elusive.

The debt crisis that began in Greece in 2010 and has spread across the euro zone to engulf Ireland, Portugal, Cyprus and the much bigger economy of Spain has devastated business confidence and sapped the ability of companies to create jobs.

Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke said on Monday he was confident the U.S. economy would not slip into a second recession, although growth in the world's largest oil consumer was too slow.

Investors awaited U.S. industry data later on Tuesday on the level of fuel inventories.

A Reuters poll of analysts forecast the American Petroleum Institute figures would show a build of 1.5 million barrels in crude stocks last week on expectations of a rebound in crude imports. Gasoline and distillate stockpiles were expected to fall slightly.

(Additional reporting by Luke Pachymuthu and Manolo Serapio Jr; Editing by Alison Birrane)

((christopher.johnson@thomsonreuters.com)(+44 207 542 6056)(Reuters Messaging: christopher.johnson.reuters.com@reuters.net))

Keywords: MARKETS OIL/