Oil advanced as U.S. government data showed crude stockpiles unexpectedly fell in the world biggest oil consumer.

Futures climbed as much as 1.6 percent in New York, paring losses after a 1.8 percent drop on Wednesday. Inventories fell by 5.45 million barrels to 450.8 million, according to an Energy Information Administration report, compared with an increase of 1.45 million forecast in a Bloomberg survey. The nation’s output slipped for a third week, the EIA said.

Oil has fluctuated below $40 a barrel this week amid volatility in global financial and commodity markets on concern China’s fuel demand will falter. Crude is still down more than 35 percent from this year’s closing peak in June on signs the global glut will be prolonged as leading OPEC members sustain production and U.S. crude stockpiles remain about 90 million barrels above the five-year seasonal average.

West Texas Intermediate for October delivery rose as much as 61 cents to $39.21 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange and was at $39.03 at 8:43 a.m. Sydney time. The contract slid 71 cents to $38.60 on Wednesday. The volume of all futures traded was about 47 percent below the 100-day average. Prices have decreased 27 percent this year.

Brent for October settlement lost 7 cents, or 0.2 percent, to $43.14 a barrel on the London-based ICE Futures Europe exchange on Wednesday. The European benchmark crude ended the session at a premium of $4.54 to WTI.

Source : Bloomberg