U.S. and Brent crude futures rose on Thursday, lifted by supportive economic data from the United States after a plentiful supply picture and Chinese economic data had earlier pressured prices.
Sales of existing U.S. homes rose to a 10-month high in July and the number of initial jobless claims fell last week, signaling third-quarter strength in the economy. Separate reports on Thursday showing factory activity in the mid-Atlantic region in August at its highest level since March 2011 and a gauge of future economic activity up solidly last month added to the hopes for improving demand for oil.
"U.S. crude might have a gotten a little ahead of itself to the downside recently given the strong demand from U.S. refiners and the relative of strength of the U.S. economy, as this morning's data show," said John Kilduff, partner at Again Capital LLC.
The world's top crude oil benchmarks have fallen more than $10 a barrel since June on a build-up of supply in the Atlantic Basin and continued production from Iraq and Libya despite the risk of supply disruption from the region's conflicts.