The price of oil bounced back late Thursday and rose for the first time in two weeks.
Benchmark U.S. crude for August delivery gained 64 cents to $102.93 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange. Brent crude, a benchmark for international oils, rose 54 cents to $109.01 on the ICE Futures exchange in London.
Oil fell to a two-month intraday low of $101.55 in the morning, but rallied as U.S. equities markets recovered from steep morning losses. Oil had been falling steadily since late June, partly because worries about disruptions of the oil supply from Iraq have subsided and Libyan oil is returning to the global market.
Analysts cautioned that more declines are possible. “It is premature to suggest that a bottom has been placed,” wrote Jim Ritterbusch, president of energy consultancy Ritterbusch and Associates, in a note to clients.
In other energy-futures trading:
– Wholesale gasoline rose 2 cents to $2.96 a gallon.
– Natural gas fell 5 cents to $4.12 per 1,000 cubic feet.
– Heating oil added 2 cents to $2.89 a gallon.