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updated: 10/16/2012 7:06 AM

Oil rises to near $92 as US retail sales improve

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Associated Press

BANGKOK -- The price of oil rose slightly in Asia on Tuesday, taking its cue from stock markets which were jolted higher by an improvement in U.S. consumer spending.

Benchmark crude for November delivery was up 6 cents at $91.91 a barrel at late afternoon Bangkok time in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. The contract finished Monday down 1 cent at $91.85 in New York.

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The U.S. Commerce Department said Monday that retail sales rose 1.1 percent last month. That follows a 1.2 percent increase in August. They were the largest gains in two years, driven by auto sales and the release of the iPhone 5.

The numbers added to optimism about an economic recovery in the United States and helped push up shares of Asia's powerhouse manufacturers, many of which rely on sales to the U.S.

In other energy futures trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange:

-- Natural gas rose 2.7 cents to $3.513 per 1,000 cubic feet.

-- Heating oil was unchanged at $3.209 a gallon.

-- Wholesale gasoline added 0.9 cent to $2.808 per gallon.

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