Commodities traders on Thursday were focused on the sharp move higher in the price of oil. In early trade the price of WTI rose as much as $1.10 cents to $95.34 a barrel, at least a 4 month high.
The gains stem in part from new data which showed a surprise fall in crude inventory in the United States, which is the world's biggest oil consumer.
Specifically, U.S. crude stocks fell by 951,000 barrels to 360.3 million barrels last week as imports dropped - that's according to weekly data from the U.S. Energy Information Administration showed on Wednesday.
Analysts polled by Reuters had expected stocks to rise of 2.3 million barrels.
Positive U.S. housing data provided an additional boost. A separate report showed that U.S. housing starts jumped by 12.1% in December to a seasonally adjusted 0.954 million, compared to expectations for a 3.3% increase to 0.890 million
Geopolitical tensions in Algeria provided further support.
That said, how long do you think it will take for oil to print $100?
— Reuters contributed to this report