By Christopher Johnson
London, Jan 28 (Reuters) - Brent crude oil traded near three-month highs around $113 per barrel on Monday, buoyed by economic optimism and ahead of a U.S. Federal Reserve meeting and employment data that should show more signs of recovery in the world's biggest oil consumer.
The Federal Reserve, whose policy-setting Federal Open Market Committee concludes a two-day meeting on Wednesday, has said it expects to keep short-term interest rates exceptionally low to help support the economy.
Friday's U.S. non-farm payroll figures are likely to show the jobless rate unchanged in January and that the U.S. economy created 155,000 jobs, according to economists polled by Reuters.
Manufacturing output in China and the United States is rising at its quickest pace in about two years while German business morale improved for a third straight month in January, fuelling expectations of higher oil demand.
'An improving economic outlook and rising stock markets are supporting oil markets,' said Carsten Fritsch, senior oil analyst at Commerzbank in Frankfurt.
'We have seen some profit-taking from last week's highs but price dips are seen as buying opportunities at the moment.'
Brent crude futures for March slipped 30 cents to $112.98 per barrel by 0845 GMT. The contract hit a three-month high of $113.84 on Friday. U.S. light crude oil was unchanged at $95.88 after seven straight weekly gains - the longest such streak since early 2009.
The market awaited U.S. fourth-quarter GDP data on Wednesday.
'With the Fed not likely to make any big changes this week, U.S. GDP and jobs will be big for equities and commodities this week,' Jason Schenker, president of Texas-based Prestige Economics, said in a note.
'The general story remains one of modestly positive growth moving forward. If markets pull back on bad data, it would likely be temporary, since autos, housing, and construction are poised for positive gains this year.'
Oil prices are also drawing support from supply worries stemming from tensions in the Middle East.
Iran would consider any attack on Syria an attack on itself, a senior government official was quoted as saying on Saturday, in one of Tehran's most assertive defences of its ally.
Iran, a member of OPEC, is a key supporter of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad who is fighting a near two-year-long revolt.
Egyptian President Mohamed Mursi declared a month-long state of emergency in three cities along the Suez Canal where dozens of people have been killed over the past four days in protests his allies say are designed to overthrow him.
(Additional reporting by Jessica Jaganathan in Singapore; editing by William Hardy) Keywords: MARKETS OIL/
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