Oil is around $90 per barrel ahead of major speeches Thursday on jobs and the economy by President Barack Obama and Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke.
Benchmark crude rose 62 cents to $89.95 per barrel in New York. Brent crude, used to price many international varieties of oil, rose 30 cents to $116.10 in London.
Prices have hovered between about $80 and $90 per barrel for more than a month as high unemployment and the debt crisis in Europe have eroded hopes for a robust recovery in the second half of the year. Oil rose this week on expectations that the hurricane season would take many Gulf of Mexico oil platforms and refineries offline at some point.
Meanwhile, gasoline pump prices held steady at a national average of $3.655 per gallon.