Oil rose more than $1 a barrel on Thursday, extending the previous day's rally of nearly 3%, as optimism over record U.S. crude exports and signs that recession fears are abating outweighed concern over slack demand in China.
Data showed record U.S. crude exports, a hopeful sign for demand. EIA/ Speculation that central banks could be nearing the end of rate-hiking cycles added support, after the European Central bank raised rates by 75 basis points.
"Crude prices are rallying after the U.S. economy bounced back last quarter," said Edward Moya, senior market analyst at OANDA, referring to strong corporate earnings reports in the latest quarter, though he added oil’s gains were capped by the view that an economic slowdown remains.
Brent crude settled up $1.27, or 1.3%, to $96.96 a barrel while U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude settled up $1.17, or 1.3%, to $89.08 a barrel.
Worries about Chinese demand limited the rally. Global investors dumped Chinese assets early this week as the economy of the world's biggest energy consumer was beset by a zero-COVID policy, a property crisis and falling market confidence.