World oil prices jumped this evening as traders welcomed news of stronger than expected economic growth in top energy consumer the US.

US crude gained $1.47 to $79.64 a barrel, having touched $79.98 after publication of the US data. London's Brent crude soared $1.24 to $76.53.

Crude had fallen sharply on Thursday amid concern over economic recovery arising from US data and Greece's crisis-hit finances, as well as the stronger dollar.

The market softened earlier this week on weak US economic figures - rising weekly claims for jobless insurance benefits, plunging consumer confidence and more evidence of a sluggish housing market.

Meanwhile, in Tokyo, the head of the International Energy Agency (IEA) warned that countries must brace for a return to wild oil price swings as the global economy recovers.

Crude oil prices had surged to $147.50 a barrel in July 2008 before tumbling to $35 five months later in the eye of the global financial storm. 'Volatility has receded compared to the roller-coaster of 2007 and 2008,' Nobuo Tanaka told reporters on the sidelines of an energy forum in Tokyo.