The price of oil has gotten a boost from rising stock markets, but traders said that declines that sent oil to its low for the year on Monday will likely resume.
Benchmark oil for April delivery was up 21 cents to $90.33 a barrel in late morning trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange.
Brent crude, used to price many kinds of oil imported by US refineries, rose 63 cents to $110.72 a barrel on the ICE Futures exchange in London.
Global stock markets rallied as Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao confirmed the country's annual growth target of 7.5% and retail sales rose in Europe.
In the US, the Dow Jones industrial average shot to a record high.
Oil has dropped about 7% over the past five weeks.
Yesterday’s temporary decline in crude prices to below $90 a barrel was attributed to the introduction in the US of $85 billion in automatic government spending cuts, which could hurt the world's leading economy.
Some traders think today’s oil trading represents a pause in a downward trend.
"The ability of Brent and WTI to rebound back to above $110 and $90 suggests to us a bear market that could be in a pause for a while before resuming a decline that could carry down to about the $104 and $85 areas within the next week or two," said Jim Ritterbusch of the energy consulting group Ritterbusch and Associates.
As this week goes along, oil traders will be monitoring fresh information on US supplies of crude and refined products and the latest government data on hiring.