Oil prices were up in Asia today after US President Barack Obama called an 11th-hour meeting with top congressional leaders to negotiate an elusive deal to avoid the fiscal cliff, analysts said.
New York's main contract, light sweet crude for delivery in February added 42 cents to USD 91.29 a barrel and Brent North Sea crude for February delivery gained 28 cents to USD 111.08 in the morning.
Traders welcomed news of Obama's meeting with congressional leaders later today, convened a day after he returned to Washington from his shortened Christmas vacation, said Yang Weiming, premium client manager of IG Markets Singapore. "They are trying to at least come up with something before the year comes to an end, so Obama shortening his holiday and coming back... I think that is a plus point," Yang said.
A White House official said Obama would meet his Republican foes House Speaker John Boehner and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, as well as Democratic allies Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi. Obama yesterday returned to a sharply divided Washington, where the mood has soured on a possible plan to prevent hundreds of billions of dollars in tax hikes and deep automatic spending cuts from kicking in from January 1 if no deal is reached by the year's end.