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Oil bounces back from sharp losses

The Dow and S&P 500 rallied on Monday, recovering some of the prior session's losses, but gains were minimal on the tech-rich Nasdaq due to weakness among biotech shares.

[NEW YORK] Oil prices rebounded on Monday in what analysts said looked like a technical correction from heavy losses last week as the basic global oversupply picture remained intact.

US benchmark West Texas Intermediate for delivery in October jumped US$2.00, or 4.1 per cent, to US$46.68 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange, nearly erasing Friday's loss.

Brent North Sea crude for November finished at US$48.92 a barrel in London, up US$1.45 from Friday's settlement.

"It's really the technicals that are driving the market," said Ted Sloup of iiTrader, noting that trade volumes were thin.

Mr Sloup said the drop in the US oil rig count on Friday gave traders "an excuse" to buy. "But there's a ton of crude out there," he said.

Tim Evans of Citi Futures agreed: "Some producers are certainly under pressure, but global supply remains higher than demand on the back of strong OPEC production." Prices had sunk Friday after the US Federal Reserve expressed doubts about the strength of the global economy as it held off from an interest rate hike.

"There has been so much uncertainty surrounding the latest(Fed) meeting which has caused increased volatility" in the oil market, Myrto Sokou, senior analyst at Sucden brokers, said.