LONDON // Oil rose by more than $1 on Thursday to edge back above $61 a barrel, halting a six-session losing streak which has seen prices decline by 15 percent on concerns about the timing of any economic recovery. Prices hit a seven-week low just above $60 a barrel the previous day on bearish US oil data which highlighted how weak demand is in the world's largest energy consumer. US diesel and heating oil stocks have swelled to their highest level in almost 25 years after jumping by 3.7 million barrels last week, data from the Energy Information
Administration (EIA) showed. US light crude for August delivery rose $1.01 a barrel to $61.15 by 0853 GMT, having lost more than 4 percent on Wednesday. London Brent crude gained $1.24 to $61.67 a barrel. "It's no more than a mild correction from the earlier decline that reflected the EIA report," said David Moore, commodity analyst with the Commonwealth Bank of Australia. But he did not expect prices to fall much further, he added.
"There are still concerns about the outlook for demand, particularly in the US But much of the possible decline in oil prices has already happened. If we did dip below $60, you would probably see some people who might see it as a buying opportunity," Moore said. The 15 per cent drop in oil prices since the end of June was the longest and steepest decline so far in 2009. Prices had been rising since February, more than doubling from lows hit near $33 at the depth of the economic crisis as traders started to price in an eventual recovery.