Oil prices rebounded in Asian trade Thursday as the market awaited the OPEC cartel’s decision on output cuts, analysts said.

New York’s main futures contract, light sweet crude for April delivery, gained 62 cents to 42.95 dollars a barrel after sliding 3.38 dollars in US trade Wednesday.

Brent North Sea crude for delivery in April rose 43 cents to 41.83 dollars following a 2.56-dollar drop in London trade.

Jason Feer, vice-president of energy market analysts Argus Media in Singapore, said the rebound was partly due to data released by the US Department of Energy (DoE) on Wednesday showing a decline in gasoline stockpiles.

The DoE report is crucial for the crude market because the United States is the world’s biggest oil-consuming nation.

Analysts are also awaiting a decision by the Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) on production levels when they meet in Vienna on Sunday.

Feer expects an output reduction but other market watchers said OPEC has been sending mixed signals.

Algerian energy minister and former OPEC president Chakib Khelil said he believed the “majority” of OPEC’s 12 member nations backed a reduction.

(AFP & Zawya)