Wall Street share markets end up as oil prices rise

NYSE traders Image copyright Reuters

(Closed): Shares on Wall Street closed up as the oil price had its biggest one day gain of the year.

It came after markets around the world fell sharply on Wednesday.

The Dow Jones closed up 15.12 points at 15,881.86. The S&P 500 index gained 9.6 points, to 1,868.93 while the Nasdaq index climbed just 0.37 points, to 4,472.06

Before Wall Street opened, markets had been lifted by comments from European Central Bank chief Mario Draghi.

The ECB kept interest rates on hold, as expected, but Mr Draghi said the eurozone central bank would "review and possibly reconsider" its monetary policy in March.

Oil gains also helped lift investors' spirits.

Brent crude rose 5% to $29.25 per barrel, while US crude climbed 4.2% to $29.53 a barrel.

"Petroleum markets are showing signs of stabilising after the recent run of weakness, and we see some scope for a technical correction, particularly if global equity markets are able to recover their recently misplaced confidence," said Tim Evans, of Citi Futures.

The gains boosted energy stocks, which have been hit hard as the price of oil has tumbled.

Pipeline company Kinder Morgan saw a 15.6% increase in its stock price.

Shares of natural gas company Southwestern Energy climbed 19.24% after announcing it would cut 1,100 jobs in 2016.