Oil prices fell in Asia Tuesday with trading subdued ahead of knife-edge US presidential elections and the start of a leadership transition in China, analysts said.

New York's main contract, light sweet crude for delivery in December, shed two cents to $85.63 a barrel while Brent North Sea crude for December delivery fell a cent to $107.72.

“Volumes remained low ahead of the presidential elections... and China's change in leadership,” IG Markets said in a report.

“Instead of the usual ... flurry, markets were decidedly quiet as no one wanted to take any big bets ahead of the race for the White House.”

US voters head to the polls on Tuesday with the race between President Barack Obama and Republican challenger Mitt Romney too tight to call, although Obama holds a slight edge in crucial swing states.

In China, Communist Party politicians were gearing up for a once-in-a-decade leadership change scheduled to take place at a Party congress, which starts on Thursday. - Sapa-AFP