NYMEX-Crude extends losses on fading chances of U.S. fiscal deal
SEOUL, Dec 24 (Reuters) - U.S. crude remained below $89 a barrel on Monday, extending losses from Friday's 1.6 percent fall.
* U.S. February crude fell 4 cents at $88.62 a barrel as of 0029 GMT after settling down $1.47 or 1.6 percent on Friday.
* Brent February crude slipped 4 cents at $108.93 a barrel after settling down $1.23 or 1.1 percent on Friday.
* Some U.S. lawmakers voiced concern on Sunday that the country would go over "the fiscal cliff" in nine days, triggering harsh spending cuts and tax hikes, which some Republicans said was President Barack Obama's goal.
Economists say harsh tax increases and budget cuts could thrust the world's largest economy back into a recession, unless Congress acts quickly to ease the economic blow.
* Dozens of people were killed and many more wounded in a Syrian government air strike that hit a bakery where a crowd was queuing on Sunday, activists said. If confirmed, the attack on Halfaya in central Syria, which was seized by rebels last week, would be one of the deadliest air strikes of Syria's civil war.
* Iraq's oil production has exceeded 3.2 million barrels a day (b/d) so far this month and it hopes to hit capacity of 4 million b/d in 2014, its Oil Minister Abdul Kareem Luaibi said on Saturday, adding: "Next year we're planning production close to 3.7 (million b/d)."
* Iraq's higher output is seen as likely to replace supply losses from Iran as Asian buyers of Iranian crude will deepen import cuts in 2013, and struggle to send cash to Tehran to pay for oil, as tightening Western sanctions choke the flow of hard currency to Iran's coffers.
Tough sanctions from the United States and Europe to force Iran to curb its nuclear programme have already cut Iran's oil exports by more than half this year, costing it more than $5 billion a month. The reduced cash flow has contributed to a plunge in the value of Iran's currency, the rial.
* Rigorous new sanctions against Iran's banking, shipping and industrial sectors took effect on Saturday, as part of the European Union's effort to force Tehran to scale back its nuclear programme.
* The dollar inched up 0.2 percent to 84.43 yen, having fallen below 84 yen on Friday. The dollar hit a 20-month high of 84.62 yen on Dec. 19. The euro stood steady around $1.3184. Japanese financial markets are closed for a public holiday.
* U.S. stocks finished lower on Friday after a Republican plan to avoid the "fiscal cliff" failed to gain sufficient support on Thursday night. Still, stocks managed to rebound from the day's lows near the end of the session, and for the week, the three major U.S. stock indexes still ended higher.
* No major data release is scheduled for Monday.
(Reporting by Meeyoung Cho; Editing by Daniel Magnowski)