Loeb, in a Citroen, leads teammate Dani Sordo of Spain by nearly one minute. The Frenchman has won six of the eight stages so far in the Rally. Mikko Hirvonen of Finland is third overall in a Ford Focus, 1:22.8 seconds back.
The Frenchman is going for his fifth Monte Carlo title. The rally continues Saturday with six more special stages covering a total of more than 443 kilometers. The winter classic ends with a sprint on the harbor section of the Monaco Formula One track.
Loeb won his fourth World Rally Championship last season, edging Marcus Gronholm of Finland by four points. Hirvonen was third.
Some information for this report was provided by AFP, AP and Reuters.