Oil rises on stimulus hopes
Oil traded near the highest level in three weeks amid speculation China and the US will add stimulus to their economies, sustaining demand for fuel in the world's biggest crude users.
Futures were little changed after rising for a fifth day yesterday, the longest run of gains since July.
Chinese premier Wen Jiabao said the government has more room for fiscal and monetary policy to support growth.
The Federal Open Market Committee starts a two-day meeting today, when it may announce measures to stimulate the US economy.
The nation's crude stockpiles probably fell 2.9 million barrels last week, a Bloomberg survey shows before an Energy Department report.
"The premier's comments are supportive for the oil market," said Ric Spooner, a chief market analyst at CMC Markets in Sydney.
"With the Fed, the issue is what they do and how big it's going to be. Without supply shocks, we are probably fairly close to the top end of the range for oil."
Crude for October delivery was at $97.19 a barrel, up 2 cents, in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange at 2.06pm Singapore time.
The contract yesterday rose 0.7 per cent to $97.17, the highest close since August 22. Prices are 1.7 per cent lower this year.
Brent oil for October settlement gained 27 cents to $115.67 a barrel on the London-based ICE Futures Europe exchange.
The European benchmark grade's premium to West Texas Intermediate was at $18.48, from $18.23 yesterday.