oil in the second half so far has outperformed the first half in terms of growth but this was partially due to a series of retail fuel price hikes that helped boost refinery margins in September and October," Barclays analysts wrote in a note.
"With retail fuel prices cut again in November, margins are under pressure again, and we could see the gains in refinery runs moderating going into the fourth quarter, especially with underlying product demand not being exceptionally strong.
"The United States also reported positive economic data. Manufacturing grew in November at its quickest pace in five months, with a rise in domestic demand hinting that factories could provide a boost to growth in the fourth quarter. CEASEFIRE
Although little oil is sourced in Israel, concern that oil-producing nations in the Gulf could become involved in the conflict around Gaza has aroused fears of supply disruption.
The U.N. Security Council called on Israel and Hamas to uphold a ceasefire agreement on Wednesday and commended the efforts of Egypt's Islamist President Mohamed Mursi and others for brokering the truce.
"As of this morning, the energy sector is outperforming the market due to higher energy prices despite the alleviation of some supply concerns for crude oil due to the ceasefire agreement in the Middle East,"
Miguel Audencial, a sales trader at CMC Markets, said in a note. "It appears that investors are not fully convinced that the temporary break of hostilities is a long-term solution to the conflict in the region."
The latest data from the U.S. Energy Information Administration showed that U.S. crude and refined product stocks fell last week as plants processed more crude and imports dropped.
Total U.S. crude oil inventories fell 1.47 million barrels in the week to Nov. 16 to 374.47 million barrels, after analysts polled by Reuters had forecast a build of 900,000 barrels. U.S. inventories of distillates, which include diesel and heating oil, fell 2.68 million barrels to 112.84 million barrels, compared with forecasts for a smaller, 1.4-million-barrel drawdown.