BANGKOK - The price of oil rose slightly on Tuesday, a day after dropping below $90 a barrel for the first time this year.
Benchmark oil for April delivery was up 22 cents to US$90.34 per barrel at midday Bangkok time in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. On Monday, the price fell as low as $89.33 per barrel before finishing on the Nymex at $90.12.
Monday's drop was attributed to the introduction in the U.S. of $85 billion in automatic government spending cuts, which could hurt the world's leading economy.
The spending cuts kicked in on Friday after President Barack Obama and Congress failed to meet a deadline for striking a deal to avert or soften the reductions. Negotiations on Sunday ended in a bitter impasse.
The oil market will be watching for signs that a deal to claw back the cuts might be in the works.
Brent crude, used to price many kinds of oil imported by U.S. refineries, rose 40 cents to $110.49 a barrel on the ICE Futures exchange in London.
In other energy futures trading on the Nymex:
— Wholesale gasoline fell 0.7 cent to $3.092 a gallon.
— Heating oil rose 0.9 cent to $2.928 a gallon.
— Natural gas gained 1.9 cents to $3.548 per 1,000 cubic feet.
(TSX:ECA, TSX:IMO, TSX:SU, TSX:HSE, NYSE:BP, NYSE:COP, NYSE:XOM, NYSE:CVX, TSX:CNQ, TSX:TLM, TSX:COS.UN, TSX:CVE)