Oil prices rise before US election outcome

Oil prices gained Tuesday, mirroring sentiment on stock markets, as traders tracked the presidential election in the United States and leadership transition in China -- the world's two biggest energy consumers.

New York's main contract, light sweet crude for delivery in December, climbed $1.08 to $86.73 a barrel.

Brent North Sea crude for December jumped $1.65 to $109.38 a barrel in late London deals.

US polling stations opened on Tuesday, with Democratic incumbent Barack Obama and Republican challenger Mitt Romney neck-and-neck according to polls.

"The oil market will be watching the outcome of the presidential and congressional elections in the US today with bated breath," Commerzbank analysts said in a note to clients.

"If Obama were to be re-elected, a continuation of the ultra-loose monetary and fiscal policy would become more likely, thus giving buoyancy to oil prices.

"If Romney were to win the election, monetary and fiscal policy would no doubt become less expansionary, causing oil prices to fall," they added.

Meanwhile in China, Communist Party politicians were gearing up for a once-in-a-decade leadership change scheduled to take place at a Party congress, which starts on Thursday.

burs-bcp/arp

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