New York's main contract, light sweet crude for delivery in November, inched up to US$81.6, while Brent North Sea crude for November dipped to US$83.2. Oil prices were mixed in Asian trade as a strengthening dollar and a slump on Wall Street weighed on sentiment.
On Monday, November crude dipped to US$81.4, while ICE Brent dropped to US$83.6. Earlier, oil prices touched a two-month high of US$81.87, the highest price since August 6, on expectations that the slow pace of the US economic recovery will stimulate a monetary boost that would boost energy consumption. US manufacturing growth slowed last month and inflation remained subdued in August, opening opportunities for the Federal Reserve to launch a fresh round of monetary policy easing. This will depend on economic indicators to be released before the Fed's next policy meeting on November 2-3. US economic data on Friday showed both consumer and construction spending rose more than expected in August, but investment in private projects fell to its lowest level in more than 12 years.
The US dollar has dropped to a six-month low vs the euro, and global stocks edged higher by end of the previous week, after Federal Reserve officials said more must be done to lift the slow-growing US economy. Asian stocks shot to a two-year high on Monday, helped by emerging market funds. The Houston Ship Channel, the main waterway through which crude flows into the Texas refining hub, is expected to be closed for three days after a barge struck a highline electrical tower on Sunday, downing a power line stretching across the waterway to the busiest US petrochemical port.