UPDATE 8-Oil prices steady; equity markets weigh while geopolitics support

* Dollar up on solid U.S. August jobs report; trade tensions lurk

* S&P drops as strong jobs data raise rate hike fears

* U.S. diesel, gasoline stocks up after lackluster driving season

* U.S. oil drillers cut rigs for 2nd week in three -Baker Hughes (Recasts throughout; updates prices, adds comment, Baker Hughes data)

NEW YORK, Sept 7 (Reuters) - Oil prices were little changed on Friday, with U.S. crude slightly lower on weak equity markets while Brent inched up on geopolitical factors, such as violent protests in Iraq.

U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures settled down 2 cents at $67.75 per barrel. Brent crude futures settled up 33 cents at $76.83 a barrel

For the week, WTI lost almost 3 percent, while Brent was down 0.8 percent.

Oil prices had posted gains early in the week as the approach of Tropical Storm Gordon forced the closure of Gulf of Mexico oil platforms and threatened refineries on the Gulf Coast.

"The market got too juiced up before the tropical storm ... a lot of the weakness in the week (since) has been unwinding from that," said Phil Flynn, analyst at Price Futures Group in Chicago.

The storm ultimately weakened and moved away from oil-producing areas and energy companies restarted operations shut as a precautionary measure.

The dollar rose on Friday against a basket of other currencies after a report showed U.S. job growth surged in August. A stronger greenback makes it more expensive to buy dollar-denominated commodities like oil.

The jobs data raised concerns about the possibility of faster interest rate hikes, which in turn pressured equities markets. The pan-European STOXX 600 had its worst weekly performance since the end of March, while emerging market stocks dropped 3.2 percent.

Global benchmark Brent, meanwhile, received some support from geopolitics, as protests in Iraq heated up and violence in Syria threatened to escalate, analysts said.

Though deadly protests in the southern Iraqi city of Basra have not yet affected oil exports, there is concern that they soon could.

"The situation in Basra has really flamed up ... that's giving Brent some help here," said John Kilduff, Partner at Again Capital in New York.

The threat of a further escalation in the fighting in Syria was also supporting Brent, Kilduff said.

At the same time, U.S. oil prices remained weighed down by disappointing inventory data from the Energy Information Administration on Thursday, analysts said.

A decline in crude inventories was offset by a rise in refined product inventories, as gasoline stocks rose 1.8 million barrels and distillate stockpiles climbed 3.1 million barrels, the EIA said.

"This bears all the hallmarks of a disappointing summer driving season. As a result, the alarm bells are now ringing that a gasoline glut will persist for the foreseeable future," Stephen Brennock of London brokerage PVM said.

The U.S. rig count, an indicator of future output, fell in the week to Sept. 7, according to data from General Electric Co's Baker Hughes energy services unit. U.S. energy companies cut rigs for the second week in three.

(Additional reporting by Ahmad Ghaddar in London and Henning Gloystein in Singapore; Editing by Marguerita Choy, Susan Fenton and Bill Berkrot)