Oil prices climbed to their highest level since July on Thursday, as buoyant Chinese equity markets encouraged buying, and as Russia's military involvement in Syria brought a geopolitcal risk premium into the market.
The market shrugged off concern about the higher-than-expected U.S. crude stock build as reported by the U.S. Energy Information Administration on Wednesday.
U.S. crude futures closed up 3.4 percent, at 49.43 a barrel — their highest level since July. Brent crude oil futures rose $1.80, or 3.5 percent, to $53 a barrel, after touching a five-week intra-day high of $53.30.
Chinese stock markets rose 3 percent after a week-long holiday, the biggest rise in two trading weeks.
"Sentiment regarding China appears to have shifted of late and we feel that further stability in the Chinese stock market will limit downside price follow-through across the energy complex," said Jim Ritterbusch, president of Galena, Illinois-based Ritterbusch & Associates.