European Leaders plan to pile pressure on Greece to adopt unpopular economic reforms. Leaders will tell Greek Prime Minister George Papandreou they will provide 12 billion euros ($17.2 billion dollars) in emergency aid on July 3rd provided the austerity measures are agreed upon.
The fresh funding may help avert a bankruptcy that could shake the global economy.
In other news, drivers may get a break at the gas pump in the coming weeks.
Economic jitters sent oil prices sharply lower Thursday. Higher-than-expected U.S. jobless claims combined with forecasts for lower U.S. growth and evidence of a slowdown in Chinese manufacturing sparked worries over future fuel demand.
Add to that, the International Energy Agency announced it will release 60 million barrels of oil from strategic reserves to ease the shortfall from Libya.
U.S. Crude fell nearly $5 dollars a barrel. Typically, a one-dollar drop in oil results in a three to four cent drop in the price of gasoline within two weeks.
The rise in jobless claims suggests little improvement in the struggling labor market. Initial claims for state unemployment benefits in the U.S. climbed by 9,000 to 429,000, well ahead of the 415,000 expected.
Summary of top business headlines: EU piles pressure on Greece; Oil plunges as IEA releases barrels from strategic reserves; Jobless claims rise more than expected last week.