SINGAPORE, Aug 7 (AFP): Oil prices rebounded to above 75 US dollars a barrel in Asian trading Monday after falling in US trade last week as geopolitical tensions in the Middle East and Nigeria maintained pressure on the market, dealers said.
New York's main contract, light sweet crude for delivery in September surged 63 cents to 75.39 dollars a barrel from its close of 74.76 dollars in the United States Friday.
Brent North Sea crude for September delivery was up 77 cents to 76.94 dollars.
Tetsu Emori, chief commodities strategist at Mitsui Bussan Futures in Tokyo, said the market remains on edge as the situation in Nigeria's oil production facilities compounded jitters over the escalating conflict between the Israeli army and Hezbollah militants in Lebanon.
"The geopolitical tensions are a psychological factor for the market, but they're important factors," he said.
Emori and other analysts fear the fighting could worsen, with Syria and Iran -- whom Israel accuses of backing the Hezbollah -- being dragged into a wider Middle East war.
The recent abductions of oil workers in Nigeria contributed to the market's volatility, Emori added.
Since January, attacks on oil facilities and personnel by separatist militants and communities have risen in the restive region, cutting oil exports by one quarter from Nigeria, which is the world's sixth-biggest oil exporter.
Emori said the market was also waiting for leads from the US crude oil and gasoline inventory to be released Wednesday and results of a meeting of the US central bank to decide whether to continue a cycle of US interest rate increases.
The US central bank's federal open market committee (FOMC) meets Tuesday.
Traders are speculating that the US Federal Reserve would bring a pause to its two-year campaign of rate increases after US jobs data released Friday came in well below expectations.
A slowdown in the US economy is expected to ease global oil demand as the United States is the world's biggest energy consumer, analysts have said.