PERTH, Nov 8 (Reuters) - U.S. crude futures rose slightly toward $85 a barrel in Asian trading on Thursday, as the market rebounded after a 5 percent slide on Wednesday, and as a new storm hit the East Coast of the United States.
The rebound in oil prices also comes as investors switched their focus from the U.S. elections back to economic threats in the United States and Europe.
The re-elected U.S. President Obama, a Democrat, and Republicans who kept their majority in the U.S. House of Representatives, must cut a deal to avert the “fiscal cliff” - $600 billion in automatic tax increases and spending cuts set to kick in on Jan. 1 that economists warn could spur a recession.
In Europe, Central Bank President Mario Draghi said the ECB expects the euro zone economy to remain weak “in the near term,” stirring worries about the impact on fuel consumption that have weighed on markets throughout the year.
* U.S. crude for December delivery rose 36 cents to $84.80 per barrel by 0112 GMT, after dropping nearly 5 percent to $84.44 per barrel in New York on Wednesday.
* London Brent crude rose 37 cents to $107.19 per barrel.
* Brent is expected to rebound moderately to $108.20 per barrel as the fall from the Wednesday high of $111.64 was too sharp, according to technical analysis.
* A wintry storm dropped snow and rain on the U.S. Northeast on Wednesday, bringing dangerous winds and knocking out power in a region where hundreds of thousands were still in the dark after Superstorm Sandy.
* President Barack Obama had little time to savor victory on Wednesday after voters gave him a second term in the White House where he faces urgent economic challenges, a looming fiscal showdown and a still-divided Congress able to block his every move.
* U.S. crude and refined product stocks rose last week in spite of inventory drops on the East Coast, where Hurricane Sandy interrupted imports, refining activity and fuel supply chains.
* Tensions in the Middle East continued to flare, Syrian rebels fired mortars at President Bashar al-Assad’s palace in Damascus on Wednesday but missed, in an attack underlining the growing boldness of forces fighting to end his family’s 42 years in power.
* Asian shares fell on Thursday as investors worried about the fiscal crisis in the United States and the European economy’s further deterioration, underpinning safe-haven currencies such as the yen and dollar.
* The safe-haven yen hovered near a one-month high versus the euro on Thursday, having rallied broadly amid a rout in risk appetite as markets fretted about the U.S. fiscal issues now the presidential election was over.
* Gold traded little changed on Thursday, with initial momentum after U.S. President Barack Obama’s re-election giving way to concerns about the country’s fiscal problems, boosting the greenback and weighing on bullion.
* The following data is expected on Thursday:
0700 Germany Trade data Sep
0745 France Trade data Sep
1200 Britain BOE rate decision
1245 Euro zone ECB rate decision
1330 Euro zone ECB’s Draghi holds news conference
1330 U.S. Weekly jobless claims (Reporting by Rebekah Kebede; Editing by Ed Davies)