Traders are concerned with growing tension in Europe regarding Greece's request for an extension on international bailout terms. On Thursday, French President Francois Hollande and German Chancellor Angela Merkel met in Berlin but gave no indication that an extension was to their liking.
In Japan, the Nikkei 225 rose 0.5 percent, despite disappointing trade data.
Supporting crude oil prices, the Energy Information Administration late Wednesday said U.S. stockpiles dropped by 5.4 million barrels to 360.7 million barrels in the week ending Saturday, a larger draw down than was expected.
On the New York Mercantile Exchange, West Texas Intermediate crude oil for October delivery rose early but dropped 33 cents in late trading to $95.94 per barrel. Natural gas gained 3.7 cent to $2.839 per million British thermal units.
Home heating oil shed 1.04 cents to $3.1308 per gallon.
Reformulated blendstock gasoline dropped 0.95 cents to $2.9389 a gallon.
At the pump, the average price for a gallon of regular unleaded gasoline was $3.718 per gallon Thursday, up from Wednesday's $3.716, AAA reported.
Larry Ellison to step down as CEO of Oracle