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Oil up amid last-ditch fiscal cliff talks

Dec 27 2012 21:19 AFP
Oil barrel

Oil barrel (Picture: Shutterstock )

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Singapore - Oil prices were up in Asia on Friday after US President Barack Obama called an 11th-hour meeting with top congressional leaders to negotiate an elusive deal to avoid the fiscal cliff, analysts said.

New York's main contract, light sweet crude for delivery in February added 42 cents to $91.29 a barrel and Brent North Sea crude for February delivery gained 28 cents to $111.08 in the morning.

Traders welcomed news of Obama's meeting with congressional leaders later Friday, convened a day after he returned to Washington from his shortened Christmas vacation, said Yang Weiming, premium client manager of IG Markets Singapore.

"They are trying to at least come up with something before the year comes to an end, so Obama shortening his holiday and coming back... I think that is a plus point," Yang said.

A White House official said Obama would meet his Republican foes House Speaker John Boehner and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, as well as Democratic allies Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi.

Obama on Thursday returned to a sharply divided Washington, where the mood has soured on a possible plan to prevent hundreds of billions of dollars in tax hikes and deep automatic spending cuts from kicking in from January 1 if no deal is reached by the year's end.

Senate rivals Reid and McConnell spent Thursday's public appearances blaming one another for the looming failure, with Reid warning that the US economy was more likely than not heading into 2013 without a deal on the books.

Analysts fear that the massive tax increases and spending cuts could tip the US economy back into recession and affect global markets.

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commodities  |  markets  |  oil
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