Oil prices rose in tandem with sharp rebounds in global stock markets
World oil prices extended gains on Thursday after an overnight cut in US interest rates lifted expectations of higher energy demand, traders said.
London's Brent North Sea crude for December delivery added 85 cents to 66.32 dollars a barrel in electronic trade. New York's main contract, light sweet crude for December rose 1.10 dollars to 68.60 dollars a barrel.
Crude prices had surged on Wednesday, snapping a four-session losing streak as the market was also buoyed by a global stock market rally and weaker-than-expected US energy stockpiles.
Analysts said oil prices rose in tandem with sharp rebounds in global stock markets after the US Federal Reserve reduced interest rates by another 0.5 percentage points to 1.0 percent.
The move was taken to prevent the giant US economy from sliding into a sharp recession and drag the rest of the world with it.
"Traders are hoping that cheaper credit will jump start the (American) economy and increase demand," said BetOnMarkets analyst David Evans.
A US-led economic slowdown has already dampened worldwide energy demand, prompting prices to slump from historic peaks of more than 147 dollars a barrel that were hit in July.
On Monday, crude futures had plunged to 59.02 dollars in London and 61.30 dollars in New York -- which were the lowest points for around 17 months.