Oil rallied as oversupply worries and concerns over the global economy eased a little.
Having dipped below US$40 earlier in the week, the light crude price was US$1.5 higher at US$41.47 a barrel. A drop in US inventories on Wednesday sparked the rally, with stocks showing a surprise 3.3mln barrel decline.
Earlier in the week, oil prices had entered a bear market as the price had declined by 20% or more from their recent high.
News that the Bank of England had cut rates for the first time since 2009 had little impact on the market, as it had been widely discounted said traders.