Singapore: Oil prices rose in Asian trade on Thursday as tensions sparked by the killing of the US ambassador to Libya and a German court ruling on a eurozone bailout fund helped boost prices.

However, signs of a weaker demand for energy in the United States thanks to a rise in stockpiles put a cap on gains, analysts said.

New York's main contract, light sweet crude for delivery in October, was up eight cents to USD 97.09 a barrel in the morning, while Brent North Sea crude for the same month was up 12 cents to USD 116.08 a barrel.

Analysts said the death of Chris Stevens, from smoke inhalation after becoming trapped in the US consulate in Benghazi during an attack, sparked renewed concerns over geopolitical risks in the crude-producing Middle East.

They added that a ruling by the German Constitutional Court, clearing the way for the launch of a European Stability Mechanism (ESM), also helped lift oil prices. The 500-billion-euro (USD620-billion) ESM is seen as key to stabilising the European economy.

However, data "showing a rise in US crude stocks curbed gains," said Phillip Futures in a market commentary.

The US government's Energy Information Administration (EIA) announced on Wednesday that American crude oil stockpiles rose by two million barrels in the week ending September 7.


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