×

Oil rises above $86 on Saudi supply cut, strong data

Oil pumps wells Monterey Shale fracking
Getty Images

Oil prices rose Thursday on news Saudi Arabia cut its supply to the market in September, even though its overall production grew month on month, and on strong economic data from Europe and China.

Crude oil settled up $1.57 higher at $82.09 a barrel.

OPEC's largest producer pumped 9.7 million barrels per day in September, up from around 9.6 million bpd in August, an industry source said Thursday.

But the amount of crude the kingdom supplied to domestic and export markets fell to 9.36 million barrels, down from around 9.69 million barrels in August. Barrels not supplied to the markets are put into storage.

"I think this is a knee-jerk reaction," said Christopher Bellew, a broker at Jefferies in London. "Saudi Arabia has not cut its overall output."

Read MoreLook what lower oil prices do to company profits

The kingdom has previously sent signals that it is comfortable with markedly lower oil prices and that it is willing to maintain high supply levels to compete for market share.

Brent crude for December delivery rallied by nearly $2 to about $86.50 a barrel at midday on Thursday, after hitting a one-week low of $84.23 earlier. The benchmark dropped $1.51 on Wednesday, its biggest daily loss in more than a week.

U.S. crude inventories surged by 7.1 million barrels last week to 377.68 million barrels, more than double the 2.7-million-barrel increase that analysts had forecast, data from the Energy Information Administration showed.

Read MoreShould America worry about a China-Russia axis?

Economic data also lent support to oil.

Industry activity in the euro zone grew much faster than analysts predicted in October, a purchasing managers' index of 52.2 showed on Thursday.

Growth in Chinese industry quickened to a three-month high in October, with the HSBC/Markit manufacturing PMI rising to 50.4 from 50.2 in September.

But overall growth in the world's largest oil importer is at its slowest since the global financial crisis in 2009, and risks missing its official target for the first time in 15 years.

Read More7 industries at greatest risk from climate change

Carsten Fritsch, oil analyst at Commerzbank in Frankfurt, said any bounce in prices was likely to be short-lived and the market will resume its downtrend due to oversupply.

The Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries has not given any clear signals that it will cut its output at a Nov. 27 meeting, exacerbating fears of oversupply.

"I don't think there will be a cut," said Fritsch. "OPEC members fear that a cut alone will not push the price up—it will just make more room for non-OPEC supplies."

Libya's OPEC governor Samir Kamal said on Wednesday that OPEC had to reduce oil output by at least 500,000 bpd to curb oversupply of about 1 million bpd.

But Libya is the only one of four African OPEC members calling for a supply cut.

CNBC contributed to this report.