Singapore - Oil prices inched up in Asian trade on Monday as traders bought up cheap crude following a price plunge late last week caused by disappointing US jobs figures, analysts said.
New York's main contract, West Texas Intermediate (WTI) light sweet crude for delivery in August, gained 38 cents to $84.83 a barrel and Brent North Sea crude for August delivery rose 55c to $98.74.
"Oil is holding relatively steady, it has edged up a tiny bit," said Victor Shum, senior principal for Purvin and Gertz energy consultants in Singapore.
"Oil declined substantially last Friday... Perhaps because of the sharp decline, we are seeing some buying this morning," he said.
WTI and Brent crude had on Friday slumped more than $2.50 a barrel due to dismal US jobs data, which yet again raised fears that the economy of the world's largest oil consumer was faltering.
The US economy added only 80 000 jobs in June, well below forecasts, leaving the unemployment rate stubbornly stuck at 8.2%, according to Labour Department statistics released on Friday.
Shum warned that the numbers would continue to affect the crude market in the near term.
"I expect that concerns about the US economy downshifting will continue to put downward pressure on oil," he said.