Oil up in Asia as Berlusconi says will resign
Crude rose in Asia Wednesday as markets welcomed Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi's announcement that he would resign after Rome adopted key reforms later this month, analysts said.
New York's main contract, light sweet crude for delivery in December, gained 34 cents to $97.14 per barrel in the afternoon.
Brent North Sea crude for December delivery advanced 45 cents to $115.45.
"News that Italy's Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi is to resign following approval of a new budget deal sparked a rally," Phillip Futures said in a report.
Berlusconi made the announcement after his coalition government lost its majority in a parliamentary vote on Italy's 2010 public accounts.
The premier had long dismissed warnings from the European Union (EU) and critics at home about Rome's ailing finances, but with his third term winding up, he admitted it was time to "show the markets that we are serious."
Italy has been on the ropes since last week when the government agreed to special surveillance from the International Monetary Fund and the EU to ensure it was meeting crucial targets to cut its massive debt.
The first EU experts are set to begin work in Italy on Wednesday.