Asian stocks advanced for a second day with the MSCI Asia Pacific Index climbing 2.6 percent. Shares in the U.S., the world's biggest oil user, gained for the first time in six days yesterday on a plan to bail out bond insurers. Oil also climbed on speculation its 13 percent decline from this month's record has fairly priced the commodity for slower U.S. demand growth.
Crude oil for March delivery rose as much as $1.05, or 1.2 percent, to $88.04 a barrel in after-hours electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. It traded at $87.75 at 1:34 p.m. in Singapore.
The contract fell 2.5 percent to $86.99 yesterday, the lowest close in three months. It earlier traded as low as $86.65. Prices gained almost a dollar post-settlement, reflecting a late rally in U.S. stock prices.
Brent crude for March settlement climbed as much as 88 cents, or 1 percent, to $87.50 a barrel on London's ICE Futures Europe exchange. It was at $87.41 at 1:28 p.m. Singapore time.
The contract yesterday fell $1.83, or 2.1 percent, to $86.62 a barrel, the lowest close since Oct. 24. Futures reached a record $98.50 on Jan. 3.
U.S. fuel demand, based on deliveries from refineries and terminals, fell in each of the department's three previous reports. Daily use reached an 11-week low of 20.5 million barrels the week ended Jan. 11.
U.S. demand usually eases at the start of the second- quarter as heating consumption wanes and before summer vacation driving increases gasoline use. Rising stockpiles may mean the motor-fuel won't provide the support for oil that it has in recent years, Altavest's Hartmann said.
The Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries doesn't need to raise its output at its Feb. 1 meeting because recent declines in prices show there is enough supply, Reuters reported, citing Abdullah bin Hamad al-Attiyah, Qatar's oil minister.