LONDON (AFP) - Oil prices rebounded slightly on Tuesday, a day after tumbling on fears that crude demand growth could weaken in China, the worlds second biggest oil consumer after the United States, traders said. New Yorks main contract, light sweet crude for October delivery rose 30 cents to $70.26. Brent North Sea crude for October gained 55 cents to 70.20 dollars a barrel around midday trade in London. Oil prices had slumped to below 70 dollars by the close on Monday after losing around three dollars as a stock market plunge in China sent jitters across world markets about prospects for global economic recovery. If the Chinese economy were to stutter it would be disastrous for oil demand growth as the Asian dragon is the worlds second largest oil consumer and has so far been perceived as a shining beacon of economic recovery, analysts at JBC Energy wrote in a research note to clients published Tuesday. But there was better news for China on Tuesday as official data showed the countrys manufacturing activity had expanded in August at its fastest pace in 16 months, signalling that the worlds third largest economy is stabilising. The Purchasing Managers Index, or PMI, published by the China Federation of Logistics and Purchasing rose for a sixth consecutive month in August to 54.0, up from 53.3 in July. The HSBC China Manufacturing PMI, an independent reading compiled by British research firm Markit Group Ltd. rose to 55.1 in August from 52.8 in July. A reading above 50 means the sector is expanding, while a reading below 50 indicates an overall decline. Chinese shares closed up 0.60 percent Tuesday on bargain-hunting, a day after the key index suffered its biggest single-day percentage loss in 14 months, dealers said. The stocks plunge in China struck a blow deep into the heart of expected oil demand growth, said Phil Flynn of PFG Best Research. Despite the winning ways of the US stockmarket, oil traders are increasingly focused on Asia which has had a rough go as of late. Flynn added: The market is concerned whether or not the Chinese government can engineer a soft landing. Crude prices see-sawed last week, hitting 75 dollars for the first time in 10 months before falling sharply as the market tracked recovery hopes.