REUTERS

Oil prices held steady on Tuesday ahead of the U.S. presidential election, retaining their steep overnight gains but capped by demand concerns and worries about rising supplies.

Hopes that major producers would hold back from ramping up output helped lift prices in the previous session, but the market faces surging coronavirus cases, rapidly rising Libyan supplies and uncertainty about the U.S. election outcome, Reuters said.

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Brent crude LCOc1 futures inched up 1 cent to $38.98 a barrel at 0440 GMT, while U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude CLc1 futures were up 8 cents, or 0.2%, to $36.89 a barrel. Both benchmarks gained nearly 3% on Monday.

Benchmark prices, down sharply over the past week, had a brief reprieve on Monday, rising nearly 3% after Russia's oil minister held talks with domestic oil companies to delay crude output increases planned for January.

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