SINGAPORE  - Crude advanced in Asia on Thursday as hopes rose that the US Federal Reserve would kickstart the economy of the world’s largest oil consumer, analysts said.

New York’s main contract, light sweet crude for delivery in October rose 43 cents to $97.69 a barrel and Brent North Sea crude for October delivery gained 48 cents to $115.39.

Hopes for a fresh round of quantitative easing from the Fed were boosted Wednesday when minutes of its last policy meeting were published, IG Markets said in a report.

The minutes from the Federal Open Market Committee meeting three weeks ago showed there was support by “many members” for additional stimulus to the US economy soon unless economic data turns around. “Having spent the last few months watching from in the stands, QE3 is now sitting on the bench waiting for the call to come on as a last-gasp substitute,” the IG report said, referring to a new round of quantitative easing.

“That is how things look this morning after Fed minutes stated that another round of large-scale asset purchases could happen ‘fairly soon’.”

The minutes said: “Many members judged that additional monetary accommodation would likely be warranted fairly soon unless incoming information pointed to a substantial strengthening in the pace of the recovery.”