* Investors await succession plans in Venezuela after Chavez
* Market awaits EIA petroleum status report at 1530 GMT
* Coming Up: U.S. factory orders for January; 1500 GMT (Updates prices, adds employment data, adds quote, paragraphs 2, 4-6)
By Dasha Afanasieva
LONDON, March 6 (Reuters) - Brent crude oil steadied above $111 per barrel on Wednesday supported by buoyant stock markets which gained on positive economic news from the United States.
The market consolidated Tuesday's gains as investors awaited U.S. data on factory orders to confirm expectations of a revival in demand growth as well as inventory figures from the United States.
Signs of a strengthening U.S. economy and continued support from the Federal Reserve pushed European stock indices to their highest level since the 2008 financial crisis on Wednesday.
At 1530 GMT the Energy Information Administration (EIA) will release its weekly oil and petroleum products inventories.
"The market is waiting on inventory numbers as well as potentially decent U.S. economic data in very thin trading," said Andrey Kryuchenkov, analyst at VTB Capital in London.
Private employers added more jobs than expected in February, according to a report from a payrolls processor, boosting hopes that the beleaguered labour market was healing.
"Oil is in a 'wait and see' mode for the economic data to confirm the really good numbers we had," said Harry Tchilinguirian, oil strategist at BNP Paribas in London.
Brent crude futures slipped 24 cents to $111.37 a barrel by 1415 GMT, off an earlier high of $112.23. U.S. light crude oil lost 14 cents to $90.69.
"We had the ISM figures that helped to propel the equity markets higher and oil is now waiting whether we have confirmation of that positive data through the factory data," Tchilinguirian said.
Economists polled by Reuters expected U.S. factory orders for January to fall 2.2 percent compared with a 1.8 percent rise in the prior month.
"We have now two solid support levels on oil ... Now that we have that floor, we just need something to allow it to bounce off," Tchilinguirian said.
A surge in U.S. and European equities was driven, in part, by data showing the U.S. services sector accelerated to its fastest pace in a year in February, helped by a rise in new orders and demand for exports.
"The positive tone was supported by ongoing policy support and solid economic data from the U.S. and Europe," analysts at ANZ said in a report. "The US ISM non-manufacturing index surprised on the upside at 56.0 in February, suggesting strong growth in this part of the US economy that is a big employer."
The oil market also watched developments in Venezuela, following the death of President Hugo Chavez after a two-year battle with cancer. Investors were on the lookout for a succession plan in the OPEC nation. The country's oil industry was operating normally and no disruption was expected, state oil company PDVSA said.
"His death is not likely to have any major impact on the oil market," Tetsu Emori of Astmax Investments said. "But investors are waiting and watching."
Brent is expected to keep rising to $113.22 per barrel, as it has cleared a resistance at $111.83, while a rebound target at $91.40 remains unchanged for U.S. oil, according to Reuters technical analyst Wang Tao.
Yet gains were capped by medium-term concerns such as rising U.S. crude supply and the country's fiscal crisis, which have pushed Brent down about $8 a barrel since a high of $119.17 touched in mid-February. (Additional reporting By Manash Goswami in Singapore; editing by Christopher Johnson and William Hardy)