Oil Up Over 4% On Libya Raid, China Easing; Volatility Seen


NEW YORK, Feb 5 (Reuters) - Crude prices closed up more than 4 percent on Thursday as rising violence in producer Libya and an expected boost in oil demand from China's central bank easing helped the market rebound from a sharp rout in the previous session.

Traders and analysts said they expect crude's rollercoaster ride which began last Friday to continue as the market tries to find a bottom to a seven-month selloff that took prices near six-year lows.

But many were pessimistic about a sustained rally in oil, as record-high U.S. inventories rekindle worries about a glut.

"It is just a changing market sentiment as more and more players are starting to believe production cuts are coming in the U.S. and that will be enough to erase the surplus," Dominick Chirichella, senior partner at the Energy Management Institute, New York, said on the Reuters Global Oil Forum.

"I think there will be a lot of disappointment going forward for that view."

In the physical crude market, top exporter Saudi Arabia cut March prices for its Asian customers while raising rates for European and U.S. buyers, sending mixed signals to futures traders.

Benchmark Brent crude futures settled up $2.41, or 4.5 percent, at $57.57 a barrel.


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Brent Crude Oil : $51.38/BBL 2.44%
Light Crude Oil : $50.43/BBL 2.26%
Natural Gas : $3.14/MMBtu 0.94%
Updated in last 24 hours