Oil prices have increased backed by strong economic data and a stock market rally worldwide following European Central Bank’s (ECB) indications to provide more stimulus.

Benchmark Brent crude oil increased 20 cents at $48.28 a barrel, while the US crude for December remained unchanged at $45.38 a barrel, having risen 18 cents, Reuters reported.

Oil prices gained support following a statement made by the ECB president Mario Draghi that new Euro zone initiatives are set to be unveiled soon.

Draghi said: "While euro area domestic demand remains resilient, concerns over growth prospects in emerging markets and possible repercussions for the economy from developments in financial and commodity markets continue to signal downside risks to the outlook for growth and inflation.

"Most notably, the strength and persistence of the factors that are currently slowing the return of inflation to levels below, but close to, 2% in the medium term require thorough analysis.

"We will continue to fully implement the monthly asset purchases of €60bn.

"In this context, the degree of monetary policy accommodation will need to be re-examined at our December monetary policy meeting, when the new Eurosystem staff macroeconomic projections will be available."

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Draghi signalled that bank will undertake another large stimulus package as part of which more bond purchases would be made and the already negative deposit rate would be reduced.

He added: "In the meantime, we will continue to fully implement the monthly asset purchases of €60bn."

According to ABN AMRO Bank senior energy economist Hans van Cleef, hopes that European economic stimulus measures would increase oil demand were offering support to fuel globally.

Data revealed by the US highlighted a strong rebound in home resales last month.

October witnessed gains in Japanese manufacturing activity, Markit/Nikkei Japan Flash Manufacturing PMI data revealed.

At the end of September, the commercial crude oil stocks in China increased 2.38% from August, while diesel stocks witnessed a decline of 15.68%.

The news agency quoted official Xinhua News Agency reporting that refined fuel stocks declined 7.46% during that period.