World oil prices rose Thursday, rebounding slightly from recent losses after a successful Spanish bond auction eased energy demand concerns linked to the ongoing eurozone sovereign debt crisis.
Brent North Sea crude for June gained 99 cents to $118.96 per barrel in London midday deals.
New York's main contract, West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude for delivery in May added 42 cents to $103.09 a barrel.
"We had another successful Spanish auction today that gave further support to the equity and commodity markets and pushed crude oil prices higher after yesterday's sell-off," said Sucden analyst Myrto Sokou.
Spain paid a higher borrowing rate in a key auction of 10-year bonds Thursday but managed to keep it below the psychologically key level of six percent.
Overall, Spain's Treasury raised a higher-than-expected 2.541 billion euros ($3.3 billion) in an issue of two- and 10-year bonds, a Bank of Spain statement said.
Investors had been nervously waiting for the result of the auction, fearing that a flop could unleash new attacks on Spain's sovereign debt, reigniting the eurozone debt crisis -- and ravaging global energy demand.
Later on Thursday, meanwhile, traders will examine a slew of economic data for guidance on the health of the global economy and world energy demand.
US initial jobless claims data are due at 1230 GMT and eurozone consumer confidence data are scheduled for 1400 GMT, while US existing home sales numbers are also slated for publication.
Crude futures had fallen sharply on Wednesday after figures showed a much larger-than-expected increase in crude inventories, indicating weak demand in top global consumer the United States.
The US Department of Energy revealed that American crude stocks jumped by 3.9 million barrels in the week ending April 13. That was more than four times market expectations for a gain of 900,000 barrels.
Elsewhere, the credit agency firm Fitch Ratings warned that oil prices could pressure sovereign ratings of major economies and firms if they see a further spike.
"The biggest risk to ratings is of a shock oil price rise that leads to sustained higher prices," it said in a commentary.
"The US economy would be damaged in the short and medium terms if oil prices were to remain higher than $150 per barrel. The greatest impact would be felt on some global corporates and transportation-based infrastructure issuers."