Brent slips below $111 as investors book profit after steep rise
* China's economy rebounds in Q4, 2012; weakest since 1999
* Housing, labour data provide upbeat signs on U.S. economy
* Brent targets $111.82 -technicals
* Coming Up: U.S. Reuters/UMich consumer sentiment; 1455 GMT
SINGAPORE, Jan 18 (Reuters) - Brent crude slipped below $111 a barrel on Friday as a steep rise in the previous session gave investors an opportunity to sell and book profits, while a rebound in China's growth helped stem further losses.
The world's second-largest economy grew 7.9 percent in the fourth quarter of last year from a year earlier, beating forecasts of a 7.8 percent expansion. In the United States, the number of Americans filing new claims for unemployment aid hit a five-year low and residential construction surged in the latest sign that the U.S. economic recovery remains on track.
Front-month Brent slipped 15 cents to $110.95 a barrel by 0247 GMT, after settling $1.42 higher. U.S. oil declined 34 cents to $95.15, ending up $1.25 and touching an intraday peak of $96.04, the highest since Sept. 19.
"We saw oil move up yesterday, with the U.S. contract rising above $95 for the first time since September, and that is triggering some profit-taking selling," said Ken Hasegawa, a commodity sales manager at Newedge Japan.
"Fundamentally, the market is well balanced, but more positive economic data will push up the market."
Hasegawa expects the U.S. benchmark to trade between $96 and $94 a barrel on Friday and the European contract in a range of $112 to $110. For next week, he expects U.S. oil to trade around $98 to $92 and Brent between $115 and $109.
China's fourth-quarter bounce from 7.4 percent in the third quarter -- its lowest since the depths of the global financial crisis -- left full year growth at 7.8 percent, making 2012 the weakest year of economic expansion since 1999.
Other data released alongside GDP showed industrial output grew 10.3 percent in December from a year ago, versus expectations of 10.1 percent.
These numbers followed data from the United States that gave investors confidence the world's largest oil consumer is weathering an uncertain fiscal environment surprisingly well.
Brent is expected to retest a resistance at $111.37, with a good chance of breaking this level and rising further to $111.82, according to Reuters technical analyst Wang Tao.
(Reporting by Manash Goswami)