It comes as brent crude LCOc1 went up by 3 cents, or 0.1 percent, to $ 29.75 a barrel 0341 GMT, after dropping 4 percent on Wednesday. US West Texas Intermediate futures CLc1 gained 4 cents, or 0.2 percent, to 24.03 a barrel, after declining more than 2 pecent in the previous session. Both contracts traded in an out of negative territory through the Asian morning on light trade with some markets on holiday.
FTSE 100 LIVE: The Bank of England has issued a terrifying forecast
Oil prices were supported by data showing Chinese crude imports rose last month.
Imports climbed to 10.42 million barrels day (bpd) in April from 9.68 million bpd in March, according to Reuters calculations based on customs data for the first four months of 2020.
Overall exports from China also rose against expectations of a sharp drop.
“Oil prices should eventually settle on a wide $ 10 range, with WTI crude’s upper boundary being around the $ 30 a barrel level, while Brent crude targets the $ 35 a barrel level,” said Edward Moya, senior market analyst at OANDA.
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How coronavirus has affected fuel prices
8.40am update: FTSE shows slight gains
UK stock markets headed higher on Thursday on hopes of a faster recovery from a coronavirus-led recession following a surprise rise in China’s exports.
The export-laden FTSE 100 climbed 0.4 percent and the mid-cap FTSE 250 added 0.6 percent as China’s exports rose in April for the first time this year with factories racing to make up for lost sales due to the coronavirus shock.
8.05am update: FTSE-100 index opens
The FTSE-100 index opened at 5853.76 this morning.
7.23am update: Bank of England forecasts GDF fall of 14% in 2020
A Bank of England scenario predicts the UK economy will fall 14 percent this year, in response to the coronavirus pandemic.
It then forecasts the economy will recover rapidly, as the country eases its nationwide lockdown.
7.12am update: Bond markets sees huge shift
Bond markets saw one of the largest shifts in a while after the US Treasury said it would borrow an astonishing $ 2.999 trillion during the June quarter, five times larger than the previous single-quarter record.
It will sell $ 96 billion next week alone and a surprising amount of that will be at longer tenors, which in turn pushed up long-term yields and steepened the curve.
Yields on 30-year bonds jumped seven basis points to 1.40 percent, the largest daily increase since mid-March.
That rise gave a lift to the US dollar on most currencies and its index firmed to 100.192.
6.08am update: Asia stocks relieved by China export surprise
Asian shares pared early losses on Thursday after Chinese exports proved far stronger than even bulls had imagined, while US bond investors were still daunted by the staggering amount of new debt set to be sold in coming weeks.
Beijing reported exports rose 3.5 percent in April on a year earlier, completely confounding expectations of a 15.1 percent fall and outweighing a 14.2 percent drop in imports.
The surprise stoked speculation the Asian giant could recover from its coronavirus lockdown quicker than first thought and support global growth in the process.
The news helped regional market steady after a shaky start and MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan .MIAPJ0000PUS was back to near flat.
Japan’s Nikkei .N225 was off a slim 0.2 percent while South Korea .KS11 added 0.2 percent. Chinese blue chips .CSI300 were just a fraction lower, while E-Mini futures for the S&P 500 ESc1 bounced 0.5 percent.