UPDATE 7-Brent up on UK jobs data, but IMF growth view limits rise
* UK Dec jobless benefits claims lowest since June 2011
* IMF cuts 2013 global growth forecast
* Reuters poll shows growing confidence in U.S. recovery
* Israel elections reduce risk of Iran strike, analysts say
* Coming up: API oil inventory data 4:30 p.m. EST Wednesday
(Recasts with updated prices, market activity; changes dateline, pvs LONDON)
NEW YORK, Jan 23 (Reuters) - Brent crude futures edged up and U.S. crude dipped on Wednesday in choppy trading as improving British employment data lent support, while a lower economic growth forecast from the IMF limited gains.
Offering surprise support to oil were figures showing British unemployment fell for the 10th consecutive quarter at the end of last year and that jobless claims hit their lowest level since mid-2011 in December.
"There is support from the improving employment picture, not in the U.S., for once, but the UK," John Kilduff, a partner at Again Capital LLC, said in a research note.
"But the reduced outlook from IMF didn't help," Kilduff told Reuters.
A stubborn euro zone recession and Japan's weakness will weigh on global economic growth before a rebound in 2014 that should deliver the fastest expansion since 2010, the International Monetary Fund said in its World Economic Outlook, released on Wednesday.
The IMF trimmed its 2013 global growth forecast to 3.5 percent from the 3.6 percent it projected in October, but said it looked for 4.1 percent expansion in 2014.
Brent March crude was up 27 cents at $112.69 a barrel at 11:53 a.m. EST (1653 GMT).
Wednesday's $112.76 session peak was the highest price for front-month Brent since Jan. 10, when news of Saudi Arabia's recent production cuts lifted prices briefly above $113 a barrel.
U.S. March crude was down 25 cents at $96.43 a barrel, having swung from $96.20 to $96.92.
"The front-month (U.S. crude) contract remains in a technically overbought condition, with its 14-day RSI (Relative Strength Index) basis the daily continuation chart again above 70," Addison Armstrong, senior director at Tradition Energy said in a note.
The RSI is a technical momentum indicator monitored by chart-watching traders and analysts and a reading above 70 is an indication of an overbought condition.
U.S. RBOB gasoline and heating oil futures also seesawed on Wednesday, with front-month February gasoline prices stalling early at a session high of $2.8571 a gallon, just below the 200-day moving average of $2.8572.
Recent U.S. refinery problems and expectations of a heavy upcoming maintenance season have supported gasoline futures, while heating oil, supported by this week's cold snap in the United States, has felt pressure from milder temperatures expected for next week, according to brokers and traders.
Tuesday's news of Bank of Japan plans to shore up the world's third-largest economy and easing concerns about the political battle over raising the U.S. debt ceiling have added to the support that oil has received from recent upbeat economic data from the top two oil consuming economies, the United States and China.
A Reuters poll showed on Wednesday that most economists expect the U.S. economy to grow 2.0 percent this year, while unemployment was expected to average 7.7 percent in 2013, down from 7.9 percent in the previous October poll.
However, economists sounded downbeat on the euro zone's chances of a recovery in 2013, with more than a third downgrading their growth forecasts.
Oil should feel pressure after a narrower victory for hawkish Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's right-wing party was seen as limiting chances of an Israeli strike on Iran as Tehran's dispute with the West over its nuclear program continues to drag on.
"The elections have not increased the risk of Israel attacking Iran. The composition of the parliament seems to point that he would not have a very strong majority to attack," said Olivier Jakob, analyst at Petromatrix in Zug, Switzerland.
U.S. OIL INVENTORIES
Oil investors awaited weekly reports on U.S. oil inventories delayed a day by Monday's U.S. holiday.
The American Petroleum Institute's (API) report is due at 4:30 p.m. EST (2130 GMT) on Wednesday and the U.S. Energy Information Administration's report follows at 11 a.m. EST (1600 GMT) on Thursday.
The data is expected to show builds in U.S. crude, gasoline and distillate inventories, according to a Reuters poll of analysts on Monday.
(Reporting by Robert Gibbons and Gabriel Debenedetti in New York, Ron Bousso and Simon Falush in London and Florence Tan and Seng Li Peng in Singapore; Editing by Peter Galloway)