Oil prices rose on Thursday ahead of weekly U.S. stocks data, despite fresh signs of an economic slowdown in China and Japan.Crude prices have fallen more than 3 percent this week on persistent worries over global demand and a supply glut.
Benchmark crude futures nevertheless posted modest gains ahead of the U.S. Department of Energy oil stocks report at 11 a.m. EDT (1500 GMT), which is expected to show a rise, according to a Reuters survey.
Brent crude futures were flat at $48.50 per barrel. U.S. crude futures rose 30 cents to $45.10 a barrel.
"A lot of this rally will be profit-taking ahead of the DoE numbers," said Hamza Khan, commodities analyst at Netherlands-based ING Financial Markets.
"The stage is set for a recovery but as long as we keep getting disappointing numbers out of China it will weigh and delay a recovery," Khan said.
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