Crude oil futures rose slightly in Asian trading hours Tuesday in sluggish electronic trading during the Thanksgiving week, erasing overnight losses made in New York.
Still, sentiment isn't bullish given U.S. oil demand seemingly remains weak, analysts said.
At 0618 GMT, light, sweet crude oil futures for January delivery on the New York Mercantile Exchange were up 5 cents at $77.61 a barrel on the Globex. January Brent crude on LondonLondon's ICE Futures Exchange climbed 22 cents to $78.45 a barrel.
Lower prices in early hours prompted traders to close short positions, which has led to the moderate rally, said Hiroyuki Kikukawa, analyst with Tokyo-based brokerage Nihon Unicom.
Still, buying wasn't strong enough to boost prices further up as traders avoiding taking large positions, he added.
"Those who are in the market are just adjusting their positions," Kikukawa noted.
Traders didn't want to take large positions or just remained on the sidelines to avoid low liquidity, said Rikio Ishikura, a broker with Newedge JapanJapan.
"It's technically not yet Thanksgiving but sentiment is already in Thanksgiving."
Crude prices are unlikely to move sharply without fresh oil-related news, analysts said.