* Brent on track for steepest weekly loss in nearly 3 months
* Libya, North Sea supply fall support contract
* Investors focusing on Syria, U.S. econ data due out later
TOKYO, Sept 13 (Reuters) - Brent crude futures nudged higher
on Friday towards $113 a barrel on supply concerns, but the
contract was still set for its biggest weekly drop in nearly
three months as fears of a U.S.-led military attack on Syria
Besides developments relating to the Middle East nation,
investors are awaiting a slew of U.S. data slated for release
later in the day for more signals on whether the Federal Reserve
will begin unwinding its long-standing monetary stimulus this
The United States and Russia started talks on Thursday about
Moscow's plan for Syria to surrender its chemical weapons, but
the U.S. Secretary of State underscored the point that military
force may still be needed if diplomacy fails.
Benchmark Brent crude for October, which expires on
Friday, was up 11 cents at $112.74 a barrel by 0250 GMT, after
gaining $1.13 on Thursday. U.S. crude was 3 cents lower
Brent is now up for three straight sessions but the gains
don't seem enough to cover two days of heavy losses in the week
that wiped nearly $5 off the European benchmark, and put it on
track for a nearly 3 percent weekly drop, its steepest since the
week that ended June 21.
"Libyan crude supply problems have lifted Brent of late, but
until the situation in Syria is clearer and the outcome of next
week's Fed meeting is known, it is hard to take a position,"
said Kaname Gokon, deputy general manager at Tokyo-based broker
Okato Shoji Co.
Libya's state National Oil Corp has declared force majeure
on three ports, a company document showed on Thursday, following
several weeks of shutdown.
In addition, a processing platform in Norway's Ekofisk crude
stream will be partially shut down in the next week for repairs,
its operator said on Thursday, which may further delay shipments
of the oil that helps set the Brent benchmark.
DATA EYED TO GAUGE FED MOVE
Investors are now awaiting a heap of economic data due out
of Washington later in the day, including producer inflation and
retail sales figures, which may shed more light on the Federal
Reserve's stimulus strategy going forward.
The U.S. central bank is expected to reduce its $85 billion
a month bond-buying programme at its two-day policy meeting that
ends on Sept 18. But recent weaker-than-expected data
intensifies uncertainty about the extent of reduction.
Asian shares slipped on Friday and the dollar held to
overnight losses against the yen as investors fretted not
whether but by how much the Fed will cut its monthly stimulus at
next week's monetary meeting.