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Oil holds near $100, shaky economic outlook weighs

* China, India PMIs show factory-sector growth stumbling

* U.S. crude stocks at record high, OPEC output rising

* Coming Up: ECB interest rate decision; 1145 GMT (Updates prices, previous SINGAPORE)

By Alex Lawler

LONDON, May 2 (Reuters) – Oil held near $100 a barrel on Thursday, pressured by ample supplies and by fresh signals of weak global economic growth, which raised concerns about the outlook for demand.

China’s factory-sector growth eased in April, a survey showed on Thursday, suggesting the euro zone recession and sluggish U.S. demand may be weighing on China’s recovery. Another survey showed India’s factories lost momentum in April.

Brent crude edged up by 25 cents to $100.20 a barrel by 0757 GMT on Thursday after trading as low as $99.51. It fell more than 2 percent on Wednesday. U.S crude was 14 cents higher at $91.17.

“It all comes down to demand. We are oversupplied at the moment because consumption levels have just not picked up. The assumption is we should be seeing demand growing at a much stronger pace at this point of the year,” said Carl Larry, president of Houston-based Oil Outlook and Opinions.

The purchasing managers indexes also weighed on financial markets, and the falls in European stocks reinforced expectations the European Central Bank will cut its main interest rate for the first time in 10 months later on Thursday.

While the demand picture is shaky, supplies are strong. Oil output from the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries rose in April, according to surveys this week.

And weighing on oil prices on Wednesday, a U.S. government report showed crude stocks in the United States hit a record high of 395.3 million barrels.

Despite bearish developments on the oil demand and supply front, Wednesday’s pledge by the U.S. Federal Reserve to stick to its monetary stimulus plan has provided some support.

Investors are now waiting for the U.S. non-farm payrolls report for April scheduled for release on Friday. (Editing by Jane Baird)

Source: Reuters

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