Brent steadies under $108
Brent oil traded in a tight range below $108 per barrel this morning, hurt by uncertainty ahead of the US elections and renewed worries about Greece and the euro zone crisis, which could delay a global economic recovery and dampen oil demand.
President Barack Obama and Republican challenger Mitt Romney were essentially deadlocked on the election eve, polls showed, raising concerns of a cliffhanger delaying the outcome and roiling markets, as it did during the extended presidential battle in 2000.
Adding to the worries was news that a deal to keep near-bankrupt Greece afloat may not be reached at a euro zone finance ministers' meeting next week.
Front month Brent futures were trading 5 cents higher at $107.78 per barrel by 07.22 GMT, trading in a tight 44-cent range so far in the session.
Brent rallied nearly 2 per cent yesterday, driven higher by rising tensions in the Middle East. US crude slipped 1 cent to $85.55 per barrel.
"Trading volumes have been thin as the focus is on the U.S. elections at the moment," said Ker Chung Yang, senior investment analyst at Phillip Futures in Singapore.
The absence of a decisive win and a clear Congress majority raises the chances of messy negotiations over the "fiscal cliff", nearly $600 billion worth of spending cuts and tax increases that risk pushing the US economy into deep recession, analysts say.