Oil prices rise ahead of "fiscal cliff" talks

Atta Kenare/AFP/Getty Images

BANGKOK The price of crude rose today, following stock markets in Asia higher hours ahead of a last-ditch effort in Washington for political leaders to strike a budget deal before the year-end deadline.

Benchmark crude for February delivery rose 13 cents at late afternoon Bangkok time to $91 per barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange.

The contract fell yesterday following a reported drop in U.S. consumer confidence and growing pessimism that President Barack Obama and Republican lawmakers will reach a compromise on ways to avoid the so-called "fiscal cliff" -- hundreds of billions of dollars in government spending cuts and tax increases that take effect automatically in 2013 unless lawmakers act.

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