Oil Rises Above 80 USD a Barrel in Asian Stocks

Crude oil futures rose in Asia Tuesday, with market sentiment optimistic on strong equities, a weak dollar and possibly stock drawdowns.

On the New York Mercantile Exchange, light, sweet crude futures for delivery in November traded at $79.85 a barrel at 0645 GMT, up 24 cents in the Globex electronic session. December futures, more traded in the latest session, were up 24 cents at $80.20 a barrel.

December Brent crude on London's ICE Futures exchange rose 26 cents to $78.03 a barrel, MarketWatch informs.

Analysts have questioned whether oil's recent rally is justified. While prices last week moved in tandem with factors such as the Dow (INDU) crossing the psychological level of 10,000, crude market fundamentals remain weak. Supplies in the U.S. have continued to climb while demand remains unclear pending a broader economic recovery.

The national average price for a gallon of regular unleaded gasoline increased to $2.564, up 1.7 cents from the previous day's $2.547, according to a daily survey conducted for motorist group AAA, CNNMoney.com reports.

Asian markets, already among this year's best performers, have been pushing higher as the weakening dollar and immense liquidity leads foreign investors to channel funds into the region, said Clive McDonnell, Singapore-based head of Asia strategy at BNP Paribas Securities. Asia could see yet another surge as investors who missed out on part of this year's run-up shift more money here.

"A lot of international funds have been underweight Asia and that has hurt them," McDonnell said. "As we head into the fourth quarter, the pressure is on to catch up," The Associated Press reports.

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