Oil prices recover slightly after previous day's fall

Oil futures rose Thursday as the market recovered from the previous day's fall of more than US$1 a barrel on news that U.S. crude oil and gasoline stocks rose last week.

Light, sweet crude for December delivery rose 33 cents to US$60.99 a barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. The contract on Wednesday fell US$1.78 to settle at US$60.66 a barrel.

Heating oil gained marginally to US$1.8635 a gallon while gasoline also edged upward to US$1.5855.

Natural gas slipped 4 cents to US$14 per 1,000 cubic feet.

Oil prices are more than 10 percent below the late August peak of US$70.85 a barrel, but analysts said the approach of the Northern Hemisphere winter was expected to keep a firm floor under prices, primarily because of heating oil demand in Europe and the United States.

"The worry is that if prices come off a bit, demand will rebound and we've still got to deal with the Northern Hemisphere winter," said commodities strategist David Thurtell of the Commonwealth Bank of Australia in Sydney.

The U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration is predicting this year's winter in the U.S. would be colder than last year, but warmer than the 30-year average. Analysts warn an unexpectedly cold winter could drive up prices, reports the AP.