Oil rises to near $85, bouncing off 8-month lows

Oil rose to near $85 a barrel Tuesday in Asia, recovering from an eight-month low amid hope Europe's leaders may contain the continent's debt and economic crisis.

Benchmark oil for July delivery was up 76 cents to $84.74 per barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. The contract rose 75 cents to settle at $83.98 in New York on Monday.

In London, Brent crude for July delivery was up 44 cents at $99.29 per barrel on the ICE Futures exchange.

Crude fell to below $82 in trading Monday, the lowest since October, as concern a global economic slowdown will undermine oil demand pulled prices down 23 percent in the last month.

Investors are hoping European policymakers can stem a debt crisis that has sent Greece into a deep recession and stalled growth in several other countries.

Finance officials from the Group of Seven industrialized powers are scheduled to hold emergency talks by phone Tuesday. Traders will also closely watch a European Central Bank policy meeting Wednesday and congressional testimony from U.S. Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke on Thursday.

"We will expect some additional choppy, sideways trade as this week proceeds," energy trader and consultant Ritterbusch and Associates said in a report. "We do feel that this pronounced bear market of the past month remains much alive."

Later this month, Greek elections, a quarterly OPEC meeting and another round of talks between Iran and world powers about that country's nuclear program will likely affect oil prices.

In other energy trading, heating oil was up 1.1 cents at $2.64 per gallon while gasoline futures gained 1.5 cents at $2.68 per gallon. Natural gas gained 3.1 cents at $2.45 per 1,000 cubic feet.

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