SINGAPORE, May 1 (Reuters) - U.S. crude futures held steady near $105 on Tuesday as the market
looks ahead to data from China for signs of a rebound in its manufacturing activities that may lead to higher fuel demand at the world's second largest oil consumer.
The front-month contract posted its first fall in seven sessions after Spain, the fourth largest economy in Europe, slipped into its second recession in just two years and as growth in the United States slows.
Analysts' expectations for a sixth weekly rise in U.S. crude inventories and higher OPEC output in April could also weigh on prices.
* On the New York Mercantile Exchange, the front-month contract for June delivery was down 4 cents at $104.83 by 2353 GMT. The contract settled on Monday at $104.87 a barrel, down 6 cents.
* Extra crude from Iraq and Saudi Arabia has helped cover for tighter sanctions on Iran, whose own oil output has hit its lowest in two decades, while OPEC's April output is its highest since 2008, a Reuters survey found.
* China's official manufacturing PMI, which samples conditions in the country's giant factory sector before industrial production data, may have further improved to 53.6 in April from an eleven-month high of 53.1 in March, according to analysts polled by Reuters. Data due at 0100 GMT.
* U.S. crude inventories likely rose for the sixth time in a row last week, due in part to rising domestic production, a preliminary Reuters poll of analysts showed.
The American Petroleum Institute (API) will release its report on Tuesday at 4:30 p.m. EDT (2030 GMT). EIA will issue its data on Wednesday at 10:30 a.m. EDT.
* Delta Air Lines Inc will buy a Pennsylvania oil refinery from ConocoPhillips for $150 million, the most audacious move yet by an airline trying to save money on fuel costs.
* The U.S. economy appeared to downshift as it entered the second quarter, with consumers increasing their spending only modestly last month and a gauge of business activity in the Midwest falling sharply in April.
* Spain sank into recession in the first quarter and economists said spending cuts aimed at meeting strict EU deficit limits, together with a reeling bank sector, would delay any return to growth until late this year or beyond.
* The S&P 500 posted its first monthly decline since November on Monday, as stocks slipped on signs the U.S. economy may be slowing and as a recession in Spain highlighted risks in the euro zone.
(Reporting by Florence Tan; Editing by Richard Pullin)
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