SINGAPORE — Oil prices rose above $82 a barrel Wednesday in Asia as a weaker U.S. dollar made crude cheaper for investors holding foreign currencies.
Benchmark oil for November delivery was up 40 cents to $82.07 a barrel at midday Singapore time in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. The contract lost 54 cents to settle at $81.67 on Tuesday.
Oil jumped above $80 last month and has managed to hold its ground, buoyed by a global stock rally and falling dollar. The euro rose to $1.3973 on Wednesday from $1.3914 on Tuesday while the dollar was steady at 81.80 yen.
Some analysts expect a slowing global economy to undermine commodity prices in the fourth quarter and keep oil from rising above $85.
"Double-dip recession and deflation will continue to be the dominant themes for financial markets up to the end of the year," Bank Sarasin said in a report. "As the economic headwind picks up, commodity prices are unlikely to climb any further in the fourth quarter," it said.
"Oil prices will find it difficult to break out of their price bandwidth of $75-$85 per barrel."
The Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries — supplier of about 35 percent of the world's oil — is meeting Thursday in Vienna, and analysts expect the group to keep its output quota levels unchanged.
On Tuesday, OPEC slightly revised upward its oil demand growth forecast for this year and next, noting that China's economy remains a key driver for energy use in a world still struggling to emerge from its worst recession in decades.
Saudi Arabia, OPEC's biggest producer, has said an oil price near $75 would be fair to consumers and producers.
"There would be no reason to foresee any change in the status quo of OPEC's policy on production," Barclay's Capital said in a report. "There would be little change in the group's commitment to price defense."
In other Nymex trading in November contracts, heating oil rose 0.41 cent to $2.266 a gallon and gasoline gained 0.46 cent to $2.129 a gallon. Natural gas jumped 3.1 cents to $3.66 per 1,000 cubic feet.
In London, Brent crude added 30 cents to $83.80 a barrel on the ICE Futures exchange. (AP)