Oil prices steadied on Thursday at around $46 per barrel, as demand for gasoline and technical buying after a sharp fall the previous day offset worries about a large global supply glut.
Brent crude futures LCOc1 were $45.83 by 0539 ET, up 2 cents following a 3.4 percent fall on Wednesday.
Gasoline margins in Europe have tripled since mid-October as low prices boosted consumption.
Demand is also strong in the United States, where gasoline importers on the East Coast are losing a trans-Atlantic tug-of-war over European supplies, outbid by Nigerian buyers anxious to avoid a holiday shortage.
“There is strength across the gasoline complex, which is supportive, and there is technical support as we reached the bottom of a two-month range yesterday,” said Olivier Jakob, oil analyst at Petromatrix in Zug, Switzerland.
U.S. crude futures CLc1 were $42.95 a barrel, up 2 cents from Wednesday when prices tumbled 3 percent on high production, rising U.S. stocks and an economic slowdown in Asia.
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