SINGAPORE Dec 7 U.S. crude held steady above
$86 per barrel on Friday after dropping for three straight
sessions, but prices were headed for their first weekly loss in
five as euro zone worries and a looming U.S. fiscal crisis kept
investors on the edge.
* U.S. crude rose 17 cents to $86.43 at 0039 GMT. For
the week, crude was down nearly 3 percent, the first such loss
since the week ended Nov. 2 and the biggest since late October.
* The European Central Bank pondered an interest rate cut on
Thursday and predicted the euro zone economy would shrink again
in 2013, depressing sentiment across markets.
* The number of Americans filing new claims for unemployment
benefits last week fell back to the pre-superstorm Sandy range,
suggesting a return to modest job growth, although a clearer
picture will emerge after the non-farm payrolls data for
November due later on Friday.
* With little to show after a month of posturing, the White
House and Republicans in Congress dropped hints on Thursday that
they had resumed low-level private talks on breaking the
stalemate over the "fiscal cliff" but refused to divulge
* The turmoil in Egypt worsened after demonstrators rejected
a call from President Mohamed Mursi for a national dialogue,
demanding the "downfall of the regime" - the chant that brought
down his predecessor Hosni Mubarak.
* The two superpowers divided by Syria's civil war met head
to head on Thursday, with signs emerging that Russia might curb
its support for President Bashar al-Assad and Washington saying
events were gathering speed on the ground.
* Iranian oil tankers are sending incorrect satellite
signals that confuse global tracking systems and appear to
conceal voyages made by other ships to Syria, which, like Iran,
is subject to international sanctions.
* U.S. stocks closed modestly higher on Thursday, a day
ahead of the key monthly jobs report, as a rebound in shares of
Apple helped boost technology shares.
* The euro languished at one-week lows against the greenback
on Friday, having suffered a major setback after the European
Central Bank painted a bleak outlook for the euro zone and
discussed cutting interest rates.
1100 Germany Industrial output Oct
1330 U.S. Employment report Nov
1455 U.S. TR/Univ of Michigan consumer sentiment
1930 U.S. CFTC commitment of traders data
2000 U.S. Consumer credit Oct
(Reporting by Ramya Venugopal; Editing by Himani Sarkar)