Oil prices in New York rebounded Thursday after briefly slipping below $80 a barrel, as a mixed US crude inventory report spurred a rally.
US benchmark West Texas Intermediate (WTI) oil for November delivery advanced 92 cents to $82.70 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange.
WTI had slipped to $79.78 a barrel during the session, in the first drop below $80 since June 2012.
European benchmark Brent oil for November delivery gained 69 cents to $84.47, bouncing back from $82.60 earlier in the session, the lowest level since November 2010.
Thursday's gains snapped a three-day slide for the US contract that had been driven by swelling oil production, worries over weak demand and signals from Saudi Arabia and other OPEC members that they do not plan to cut output in response to lower oil prices.
Some traders bought crude after concluding the market was "oversold," said Bob Yawger, director of the futures division at Mizuho Securities.
Yawger said the catalyst was a US Department of Energy inventory report that showed a 4.0 million barrel drop in gasoline inventories, much more than the 1.4 million barrel decline projected by analysts, according to a Dow Jones Newswires survey.
The report also showed a build of 8.9 million barrels in crude stocks, more than the 2.2 million projected.
"Gasoline demand was up too, and that means… that people are confident enough in the economy," Yawger said.
The price of WTI rose as high as $84.83 before retreating. The overall price swing throughout the day was more than $5 -- a much bigger range than normal and a reflection of greater market volatility.