TOKYO, Oct 7 (Reuters) - U.S. oil prices slipped on Monday as a lack of progress on a budget standoff that has shut down the U.S. government kept investors on the sidelines, with concerns mounting over the possibility of a default by Washington.
* NYMEX crude for November delivery had fallen 38 cents to $103.46 a barrel by 0016 GMT.
* Brent crude for November delivery dropped 24 cents to $109.22 a barrel.
* Democrats and Republicans remained far apart in ending the first government shutdown in 17 years, let alone reaching a deal on the U.S. borrowing limit by Oct. 17 to avoid an unprecedented debt default.
* Massive barge gates shut to prevent flooding in New Orleans were reopened on Sunday and energy firms started returning workers to oil platforms in the Gulf of Mexico, after officials lifted evacuation orders as Tropical Storm Karen faltered.
* New ultra-modern refineries and major traders are shifting to longer-haul tankers and large storage terminals in key hubs as they reverse a decades-old pattern in their battle for new markets.
* Asian markets look set for a cautious start to the week on Monday, with U.S. stock futures and the dollar coming under pressure.
* The following data is expected on Friday: (Time in GMT)
0500 Japan Coincident indicator
0500 Japan Leading indicator
0830 Euro zone Sentix index nL4N0HU03S (Reporting by Aaron Sheldrick; Editing by Joseph Radford)