New York's main contract, West Texas Intermediate (WTI) for delivery in December, was up 10 cents at USD 97.21, while Brent North Sea crude for December gained eight cents to USD 107.07. (Agencies)
"We have seen prices move up with buying off the lows and better-than-expected US earnings, but I don't see this as the market bottoming out after the recent decline," Desmond Chua, market analyst at CMC Markets in Singapore, said."There are still concerns about weak US demand and the return of a US budget impasse a few months down the road," he said.
US oil prices shook off three consecutive sessions of declines to close 25 cents higher in New York trade on Thursday, following encouraging quarterly earnings from leading US companies including automaker Ford and consumer product manufacturer 3M.
WTI has shed more than USD 3.50 from a week ago, and hit its lowest closing level since June 28 on Wednesday, following a surprising build in US inventories.
The US government's Department of Energy weekly survey on Wednesday showed that American crude reserves had soared by 5.2 million barrels in the week ending on October 18.
The increase also came on the heels of a Monday report for the prior week, delayed by the partial US government shutdown that showed another big rise in US inventories.
A rise in stockpiles indicates weak demand in the world's biggest economy, putting downward pressure on prices.
New York's main contract, West Texas Intermediate (WTI) for delivery in December, was up 10 cents at USD 97.21, while Brent North Sea crude for December gained eight cents to USD 107.07.