Crude oil advanced as investors reassessed the reasons for a drop in futures to a 12-year low.
Oil rose more than 2 percent in New York and London. Global benchmark Brent rebounded after sliding below $30 a barrel Wednesday for the first time since April 2004 amid speculation sanctions on Iran may be lifted by next Monday, paving the way for increased shipments. U.S. equities rose Thursday after the biggest selloff in three months.
Brent capped a third annual loss in 2015 as the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries effectively abandoned production limits amid a global surplus. Iran is trying to regain its lost market share and doesn’t intend to pressure prices, officials from its petroleum ministry and national oil company said this month. U.S. gasoline supplies logged the biggest two-week gain on record, according to U.S. government data on Wednesday.
WTI for February delivery climbed 72 cents to settle at $31.20 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange. Prices slid below $30 Tuesday for the first time since December 2003. Total volume traded was 71 percent above the 100-day average at 2:40 a.m.