Oil prices held steady on Tuesday ahead of the US presidential election, retaining their steep overnight gains but capped by demand concerns and worries about rising supplies. Hopes that major producers would hold back from ramping up output helped lift prices in the previous session, but the market faces surging coronavirus cases, rapidly rising Libyan supplies and uncertainty about the US election outcome. Brent crude futures inched up 1 cent to $38.98 a barrel at 0440 GMT, while US West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures were up 8 cents, or 0.2%, to $36.89 a barrel. Both benchmarks gained nearly 3% on Monday. “Although the technical picture suggests further gains ahead, the supply/demand picture tells a different story, particularly with Europe,” said Jeffrey Halley, senior market analyst, Asia Pacific, OANDA in Singapore. Italy is the latest country in Europe to tighten COVID-19 restrictions, including limiting travel between the worst-hit regions and imposing a nightly curfew, which will limit fuel demand. “Demand has hit a speed hump as the resurgence in coronavirus cases around the world has resulted in new lockdowns,” ANZ Research said in a note. Benchmark prices, down sharply over the past week, had a brief reprieve on Monday, rising nearly 3% after Russia’s oil minister held talks with domestic oil companies to delay crude output increases planned for January.