NEW YORK, July 16 (UPI) -- Prospects of emergency lending for Greece and stable European interest rates helped lift crude oil prices that have otherwise struggled through July.
Greek lawmakers voted in favor of a bailout deal this week, a decision that followed a failed referendum for assistance earlier this month. The European Central Bank said Thursday it would provide close to $990 million in emergency liquidity.
At a meeting of the governing council in Brussels, the ECB said it was keeping interest rates on refinancing and lending steady at the low 0.05 percent.
Greek financial issues cast a shadow over the latest global financial crisis, though most European leaders said the region's economy would be able to weather the storm. Eurostat, the statistics office for the European Union, said Thursday inflation in Greece in Cyprus was the highest in the region.
Brent crude oil prices recovered in early Thursday trading to gain 1.1 percent to $57.68 per barrel. West Texas Intermediate, the U.S. benchmark, gained three quarters of a percent to $51.80 per barrel. Both indices are far below levels that started the month, however.
Crude oil prices are trading in a weak market plagued by oversupplies and slow global economic recovery. Prices drifted lower this week in response to a breakthrough Iranian nuclear deal that could result in more crude oil from Iran.
The International Monetary Fund warned earlier this week that Greek assistance might not be enough to erase lingering economic concerns. The Asian Development Bank, meanwhile, said slowdowns in the U.S. and Chinese markets meant a spillover in developing Asia. The growth forecast from the ADB for developing Asia was cut from 6.3 percent to 6.1 percent for 2015.
A crash last week on the Chinese stock market put downward pressure on crude oil prices.
"Slower growth in China is likely to have a noticeable effect on the rest of Asia given its size and its close links with other countries in the region through regional and global value chains," ADB Chief Economist Shang-Jin Wei said in a statement.