World oil prices rose today on hopes that new US Federal Reserve chief Janet Yellen will indicate that she is sticking by the bank's easy-money stimulus, dealers said.

Brent North Sea crude for delivery in March added 42 cents to stand at $109.05 a barrel in midday deals. 

New York's main contract, West Texas Intermediate (WTI) for March, climbed 24 cents to $100.30 a barrel.

Analysts said investors were waiting for testimony in Congress from Yellen, who has replaced Ben Bernanke as chair of the US central bank.

Yellen will brief legislators on the state of the US economy and the direction of monetary policy.

The health of the US economy is a key influence on oil prices, with the US being the world's biggest consumer of crude.