UPDATE 1-Brent hovers below $108, heads for 1st weekly gain since late Feb

* Oil supported by signs of U.S. economic growth

* U.S. crude on course for biggest weekly climb since early Feb

(Adds comment, detail; updates prices)

SINGAPORE, March 28 (Reuters) - Brent steadied below $108 per barrel on Friday, holding most of its gains from the prior session and heading for the first weekly rise in five, on promising U.S. data and fears geopolitical tensions could dent supply from Russia.

The U.S. economy grew slightly faster than estimated in the fourth quarter and new claims for jobless aid fell to a near four-month low last week, suggesting a brighter outlook for demand in the world's biggest oil consumer.

Brent crude was up 4 cents at $107.87 a barrel by 0549 GMT, after gaining 80 cents on Thursday, with prices headed for an almost 1-percent gain for the week.

U.S. crude was 28 cents higher at $101.56 per barrel, after settling up $1.02 in the previous session. It was on track for a 1.9-percent weekly rise, the most since early February, on continued drawdown in oil stocks at Cushing, the pricing point for the U.S. benchmark.

"We are seeing a firmer overall global demand outlook, which will likely support oil markets," said Michael McCarthy, chief strategist at CMC Markets in Sydney.

"Durable goods orders in transport are in general a strong indicator for energy markets. The numbers show that demand is rising," McCarthy said, referring to orders for long-lasting U.S. manufactured goods that rebounded in February, ending two straight months of decline.


Oil prices also continued to draw support from the Ukraine crisis, with the United States and the European Union agreeing to work together to prepare tougher sanctions against Russia and to make Europe less dependent on Russian gas.

"Possible intensifying of sanctions led to higher perceived geopolitical risks by markets, hence supporting gains in benchmark crudes," Phillip Futures said in a note.

Other supply worries also underpinned prices.

In Libya, protesters have blocked a pipeline carrying around 30,000 barrels per day of oil condensate from the southwestern al-Wafa oilfield to the Mellitah export port, state-owned National Oil Corp (NOC) said on Thursday.

NOC this week said Libya's total output stood at 155,000 barrels per day (bpd), after the 130,000 bpd El Feel field, co-operated by ENI, had stopped producing. The 340,000 bpd El Sharara field shut down weeks ago.

Libya's exports have been well below its capacity of around 1.25 million bpd since July 2013 when militias and protesters began blocking its major oil export terminals and oilfields.

Curbing gains in U.S. crude, all restrictions on marine traffic through the Houston Ship Channel, a critical waterway for oil shipments, were lifted on Thursday, the U.S. Coast Guard said.

The channel was shut on Saturday when a fuel oil barge collided with a cargo ship near the entrance to Galveston Bay, spilling 4,000 barrels, or 168,000 gallons (636,000 litres), of heavy, black fuel oil.

(Editing by Himani Sarkar and Joseph Radford)