World oil prices rose on Tuesday, in line with gains across global stock markets as buoyant US consumer data and simmering tensions in crude producers Iran and Nigeria provided support, analysts said.
New York's main contract, West Texas Intermediate crude for delivery in February, rallied $1.38 cents to $102.69 a barrel.
Brent North Sea crude for February gained 82 cents to $113.27 in early afternoon trade.
European equities rose strongly on Tuesday as Chinese data and upbeat US figures and company results overshadowed fears over the stubborn eurozone debt crisis, dealers said.
Investor sentiment was boosted as slowing Chinese exports sparked fresh speculation over more monetary easing from Beijing.
"Following the better-than-expected economic data from the United States and the recent rebound in the global equity markets, we expect crude oil prices to continue their upside momentum," said Sucden analyst Myrto Sokou.
"In the meantime, the Chinese import/export figures failed to meet analysts' expectations and raised some concerns about a slowdown in Chinese oil demand.
"However, the sharp decline in imports should afford Beijing greater room in monetary policy manoeuvring."
China's trade surplus shrank in 2011 as import and export growth slowed sharply, official data showed on Tuesday, after domestic tightening measures and global economic turmoil hit consumption.
Elsewhere, US data on Monday showed a 9.9 percent jump in consumer credit in November, the biggest increase since 2001.
Credit card spending was up 8.5 percent, while non-revolving loans, including university and automobile loans, jumped 107 percent.
"US consumer economic data saw its biggest jump in a decade, signalling increased confidence in its economic recovery," said Nick Trevethan, senior commodities strategist at ANZ Research.
The data added to the growing sense that a recovery in the world's biggest economy and oil consumer is showing signs of strength, coming days after a fall in the unemployment rate and a bigger-than-expected rise in job creation.
Adding to the upward pressure on oil was lingering concern about Iran's nuclear programme, Trevethan told AFP.
The UN atomic agency Monday revealed that Tehran had started to enrich uranium in a mountain bunker, further stoking suspicions that it wants to build nuclear weapons.
Iran -- the world's fourth-largest oil producer -- has threatened to close the strategic Strait of Hormuz if the West goes ahead with plans to ban imports of its oil as part of sanctions to stop its nuclear programme.
"Iran's external relations can affect oil markets through more than just the blockage of trade," Barclays Capital said in a commentary.
"In our view, the situation is now severe enough to run the danger of creating a clash almost accidentally."
Meanwhile, traders were also monitoring the situation in Nigeria, where the end of fuel subsidies has sparked widespread protests, analysts said, although officials say oil output in the country had so far been unaffected.
Nigeria pumps around 2.4 million barrels a day and is Africa's top producer.