Singapore: Brent futures held steady above $109 as investors judged the previous session’s fall in prices to their lowest in nearly three weeks as an opportunity to buy, with simmering tensions in the Middle East providing additional support.

Asian shares, the euro and base metals all recovered on renewed interest for riskier assets as better data from the United States and Europe revived hopes the global economy is not worsening further.

For oil, intensifying violence in Lebanon linked to the conflict in Syria escalated worries about supply disruption from the region.

Brent crude rose 36 cents to as much as $109.80 a barrel and traded at $109.42 by 09:25 am, after declining for five days to the lowest since 4 October. US oil rose 24 cents to $88.89.

“We are seeing a moderate risk-on mood in the Asia Pacific," said Ric Spooner, chief market analyst at CMC Markets in Sydney. “Equities were up and looked like that was flowing through to the oil market. We are seeing a bit of anticipatory confidence about China basing out and on the green shoots in the United States."

At least seven people were killed and dozens wounded in gunbattles in the Lebanese capital Beirut and coastal Tripoli on Monday. The clashes have heightened fears that Syria’s civil war with its sectarian dimensions is now spreading into Lebanon, and may spread further across the region.

Yet, oil is poised to fall in the coming weeks as markets are well supplied while the outlook for global economic growth remains weak, Spooner said. Spooner expects Brent to slide to $105 a barrel in the next few weeks, with US oil trading between $80-$85.

Prices are also under pressure from expectations US oil inventories likely rose for the third straight week as imports recovered, a preliminary Reuters poll of analysts showed.

Crude inventories were expected to have risen 1.7 million barrels for the week ended 19 October. All seven analysts saw a build in stockpiles. In the previous week, domestic oil stocks rose 2.9 million barrels to 369.2 million barrels, data from the Energy Information Administration (EIA) showed.

Brent may revisit its 3 October low of $107.67 as it has cleared support at $109.68, while U.S. oil is expected to retest support at $88.19, with a good chance of breaking it and falling more to $86.69, Reuters technical analyst Wang Tao. Reuters

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