Brent Crude oil hit a three-year high at $86.10 a barrel on Wednesday night, before falling to $83.51 the following day.
The price has risen over 60 per cent this year, supported by a slow ramp-up in supply and a global coal and gas shortage which has driven a switch to oil for power generation.
However, trading costs have now eased following a drop in coal and natural gas prices, and investors taking profits on an oil rally some consider overstretched.
In China, coal fell 11 per cent on Thursday, extending losses this week.
The country has been signalling that it might intervene to cool the market.
More to follow…