Oil prices rose Friday as traders looked to a speech by Federal Reserve chief Ben Bernanke that might signal more help for the struggling U.S. economic recovery.

Benchmark crude for October delivery rose 2 cents in midday Bangkok time to $94.64 per barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. The contract fell 87 cents to finish at $94.62 on the Nymex on Thursday.

Investors will be listening to Bernanke's speech at an economic conference in Jackson Hole, Wyoming later Friday for hints of additional steps to spur borrowing and spending in the U.S.

They are also anticipating the release of manufacturing data out of China this weekend. Worse-than-expected numbers could put pressure on Beijing for more stimulus measures to help revive growth in the world's No. 2 economy.

In other energy futures trading, heating oil rose less than a penny to $3.138 per gallon. Natural gas rose less than 1 cent to $2.754 per 1,000 cubic feet.