SINGAPORE–Oil prices hovered above US$86 a barrel Tuesday in Asia after comments from Germany that downplayed a possible plan to contain Europe’s debt crisis. Benchmark crude for November delivery was up US$0.10 at US$86.48 a barrel at midday Singapore time in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. The contract fell US$0.42 to settle at US$86.38 in New York on Monday. Brent crude for December delivery was down US$0.05 at US$110.11 a barrel on the ICE Futures Exchange in London. In other Nymex trading, heating oil added US$0.003 to US$3.01 per gallon and gasoline futures gained US$0.009 cent to US$2.72 per gallon. Natural gas fell US$0.006 cent to US$3.68 per 1,000 cubic feet.
Crude has risen from US$75 two weeks ago as investors bet European leaders will soon announce a plan that will stem the contagion from a possible Greek sovereign debt default. However, German finance chief Wolfgang Schaeuble on Monday dampened expectations that they’d hammer out a comprehensive solution at an upcoming summit this weekend.