Crude oil prices advanced in Asian trade on Thursday ahead of long-awaited crucial European Union (EU) summit on the regional debt crisis.
Light sweet crude for January delivery gained 29 cents to $100.49 a barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange during Asian trading hours. Brent crude oil futures for January delivery gained 0.58 percent to $110.120 a barrel on the ICE futures exchange in London.
The Financial Times reported on Tuesday that EU officials were discussing plans to expand powers of the European Rescue Fund to tackle regional debt crises, which involves allowing the region's existing 440 billion Euro fund to continue running even after the introduction of the new 500 billion Euro European Stability Mechanism.
However, investors' hopes dimmed over the outcome of the summit after a German official expressed doubt, on Wednesday, about the possibility that this week's summit could succeed.
Meanwhile, unexpected increase in US stockpiles also capped the gains. The U.S. Energy Information Administration on Wednesday showed that the American nation's supply of oil and gasoline suddenly surged by 1.3 million barrels last week.