Reuters: Oil surges 8 percent after steep slide; growth fears still weigh
Oil surged on Wednesday, posting its strongest daily gain in more than two years in a partial rebound from steep losses that pushed crude benchmarks to lows not seen since 2017.
Both U.S. and Brent crude rose about 8 percent, their largest one-day increase since November 30, 2016, when OPEC signed a landmark agreement to cut production, Reuters said.
It was unclear whether follow-through buying would push prices higher again once trading desks are more fully staffed after the new year begins.
Crude has been caught up in wider market weakness as the U.S. government shutdown, higher U.S. interest rates and the U.S.-China trade dispute unnerved investors and exacerbated worries over global growth.
"The market is still really concerned about demand," said Bernadette Johnson, vice president in market intelligence at DrillingInfo in Denver. The sell-off "doesn't signal strength of confidence in demand, but we still went too far too quick. We still believe $45 is too low."
U.S. crude CLc1 settled at $46.22 a barrel, up $3.69, or 8.7 percent. Even with the day's gains, U.S. crude has still lost nearly 40 percent from its October closing high at more than $76 a barrel.
Brent crude LCOc1, the global benchmark, rose $4, or 8 percent, to settle at $54.47 a barrel. It earlier fell to $49.93, lowest since July 2017.