Undeterred, OPEC is determining how best to keep crude steady: File Image/PixaBay
With the U.S./China trade talks predominantly influencing crude prices for several weeks now, traders on Thursday were heartened by the Chinese commerce ministry stating that both countries have agreed to cancel tariffs in different phases - a compelling sign that the end of the hostilities are imminent.
Brent rose 58 cents to settle at $62.32, while West Texas Intermediate crude climbed 80 cents to settle at $57.15.
Noteworthy too on Thursday is that U.S. stocks hit records earlier in the day, adding to indications the slump in global growth might have bottomed.
Jens Naervig Pedersen, senior analyst, Danske Bank
The oil market is in a better state than two weeks ago
While much has been said of the commodity being unable to escape fairly range bound prices due to concerns of oversupply and an economic downturn, media on Thursday pointed out that Brent has rallied 15 percent this year, supported by the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries' (OPEC) output cuts.
Typically, though, some pundits prefer to maintain their gloomy outlook: Craig Erlam, analyst at brokerage OANDA, said, "Doubts are not yet turning into full-blown concerns; if a date isn't set in stone soon though, that may come."
A similarly cautious Jens Naervig Pedersen, senior analyst at Danske Bank, remarked, "The oil market is in a better state than two weeks ago, but we are still in a fragile environment, where it won't take a lot to tip the scale in a negative direction again."
Meanwhile, OPEC is said to be considering a range of options to maintain market stability: Peter Lee, senior oil and gas analyst at Fitch Solutions, told CNBC's "Capital Connection" Thursday that with regards to OPEC's December meeting, "The house view is that the meeting is likely to reaffirm the group's commitments to the cut that is already in place.
"The current deal will remain in place until the end of Q1 (the first quarter) next year, and we see scope for the deal to be extended until the end of next year."
Plus, it is widely believed that Saudi Arabia is pressuring members such as Iraq and Nigeria to improve their own compliance in order to bolster crude prices.