Oil futures shook off early losses on Thursday to finish slightly higher. “Despite the pessimism seen this week, the overall oil demand remains robust in two of the largest oil markets, the U.S. and China,” said Manish Raj, chief financial officer at Velandera Energy. Also, “despite the rapidly rising cases in India, economic activity, road traffic and energy consumption remains well above the levels seen last year,” he said. June West Texas Intermediate crude inched up by 8 cents, or 0.1%, to settle at $61.43 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange, after trading as low as $60.61.

Market Pulse Stories are Rapid-fire, short news bursts on stocks and markets as they move. Visit MarketWatch.com for more information on this news.