Oil rises above US$103 ahead of reports on third quarter earnings

By Pamela Sampson, AP

BANGKOK — The price of oil rose above US$103 a barrel Tuesday as investors turned their attention away from the budget stalemate in Washington and toward the release of third-quarter company earnings.

Benchmark crude for November delivery rose 29 cents to US$103.32 per barrel at late afternoon Bangkok time in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. The contract fell 81 cents to close at US$103.03 a barrel on the Nymex on Monday.

Oil prices have fallen in the last week after the U.S. government was forced to partially halt operations. The shutdown occurred because Congress could not agree on short-term funding that would have allowed the nation to pay its bills past Sept. 30, the end of the fiscal year.

Prices fell early Tuesday in Asia but turned around several hours later as investors began looking ahead to corporate earnings season.

Brent, the benchmark for international crudes, rose 9 cents to US$109.77 on the ICE Futures exchange in London.

In other energy futures trading on Nymex:

— Wholesale gasoline rose 0.2 cents to US$2.6285 per gallon.

— Natural gas rose 1.4 cents to US$3.643 per 1,000 cubic feet.

— Heating oil fell marginally to US$3.0087 per gallon.