New York's main contract, light sweet crude for December delivery was eight cents higher at USD 98.22 a barrel and Brent North Sea crude, also for Dec delivery, advanced 44 cents to USD 112.33. However, the rebound on Tuesday (today) trade was too small to indicate that sentiment towards Europe has turned positive, analysts said.
"What follows is austerity and that is not good for economic growth and it means less oil consumption," Victor Shum, an analyst with energy consultancy Purvin and Gertz told AFP. Crude prices had been trading higher on Nov 14 after the leaders of Italy and Greece stepped aside, lifting hopes that key debt-fighting legislation could be passed, while tensions tensions in the Middle East added upward pressure.
However, a falling euro and concerns that the countries' new leaders may not be able to implement the necessary changes led to fresh selling.
"We had some support mainly because of the structural changes in Greece and Italy, we had some optimism; then again we are getting concerns about the debt crisis in Europe," said Bart Melek of TD Securities. The eurozone debt crisis, and its potential to stall global economic growth, have cancelled out the upward push on oil prices driven by new fears over Iran's nuclear ambitions amid concerns it is building an atomic bomb.