China's trade growth and an encouraging start to the U.S. corporate earnings season.
In Europe, benchmark crude for February delivery was up $1.04 to $94.14 a barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. The contract slipped 5 cents to end at $93.10 per barrel in New York.
Current data released showed China's export growth in December more than quadrupled from the previous month's level to 14 percent. Imports rose 6 percent, after failing to grow at all in November, in a sign of increasing domestic demand.
Analysts also pointed to an 8 percent year-on-year rise in China's imports of crude oil in December and a 6.8 percent increase for all of 2012. The data was a boost for energy prices, since a pickup in economic activity in the world's second-largest economy could boost demand for oil.
In the U.S., corporate reporting season began with better-than-expected results. That helped lift stock markets and energy prices followed.
Brent crude, used to price international varieties of oil, was up 89 cents to $112.65 a barrel on the ICE Futures exchange in London.