* World leaders pressure U.S. over Syria at G20 summit
* U.S. Cushing crude stocks fall to lowest in 18 mths -EIA
* Coming up: U.S. nonfarm payrolls for Aug at 1230 GMT
(Changes dateline, previous SINGAPORE, writes through, updates
By Lin Noueihed
LONDON, Sept 6 Global oil prices edged firmer
above $115 a barrel on Friday, with investors looking to
expected U.S. jobs data that could move the Federal Reserve
closer to unwinding a massive stimulus programme that has
Concern that a potential U.S. strike on Syria would spread
unrest and further disrupt Middle East supplies had boosted oil
prices in recent weeks and benchmark Brent crude oil is heading
for a fourth straight weekly rise.
Gains have been limited, however, as U.S. President Barack
Obama comes under growing pressure from other leaders not to
order a military strike on Syria due to fears that it would hurt
the global economy and push up oil prices.
October Brent rose 22 cents to $115.48 a barrel by
0948 GMT. U.S. WTI crude oil for October delivery rose 34
cents to $108.71.
"The moment of reckoning is quickly approaching as the
announcement of a change in monetary policy by the Federal
Reserve gets increasingly close as the release of strong data
turns into a glut," PVM analysts wrote in their fundamentals
"It is widely believed that today's jobs report could
provide the necessary trigger and seal the deal for stimulus
tapering to begin later this month."
Oil could face downward pressure as expectations grow that
the Fed will soon start rolling back its stimulus programme,
tightening liquidity in global markets and strengthening the
A strong dollar may depress oil as dollar-priced commodities
become less affordable to holders of other currencies.
Solid U.S. jobs and service sector data on Thursday
bolstered views the Fed could start slowing its bond-buying
programme as soon as this month, but plunging orders for factory
goods highlighted uncertainty around the economic outlook.
The U.S. non-farm payrolls report for August is due at 1230
SYRIA CONCERNS EBB
Receding expectations of an imminent U.S. strike on Syria
and a fall in crude stockpiles at WTI's delivery point in
Cushing, Oklahoma, have seen the spread between Brent and WTI
narrow to $6.76.
In less than two months, Brent's premium over U.S. crude had
swung from parity to as wide as $9, a level not seen since early
June, due to concern about Middle East supply disruptions.
Syria is not a major oil producer but concerns had mounted
that an escalation in the conflict there could suck big
exporters such as Iran or disrupt shipping routes.
"I don't think Brent will do much today. The G20 seems
deadlocked over Syria. This U.S. vote next week could go either
way so everyone is waiting," Michael Hewson, analyst at CMC
"There won't be too much volatility ahead of the non-farm
payrolls data later today but even there I don't think we'll see
major moves unless there is a big miss."
U.S. Congress will vote next week on Obama's proposal to
launch a missile strike to punish President Bashar al-Assad for
his suspected use of chemical weapons against civilians, but
scores of lawmakers remain undecided.
At the G20 summit in St Petersburg, Obama has faced growing
pressure from Russia, China, the European Union and major
emerging market countries not to carry out a strike without
support from the U.N. Security Council.
(Additional reporting by Florence Tan, editing by William