U.S. crude futures fell as much as 3.5% early in the day to $40.42, before news came out that Saudi Arabia is willing to talk to non-OPEC producers about the rout in prices, helping the futures erase all of their losses and rise 2% to $42.74, before prices gave up again, plummeting to $41.33 a barrel, with a 1.41% loss. Brent futures for December took a similar path but with more contained swings, ending down 0.44% to $44.49 a barrel as of 14:24 GMT.
Positive data came out of Europe's purchasing managers' indexes, with the Eurozone's Flash Manufacturing PMI coming at 52.8, better than the 52.3 expected, while Flash Services PMI came at 54.6, better than the 54.2 forecast. Euro erased its earlier losses, recovering from a 7-month low against the dollar to trade flat at 1.0635. It rose to a week's high against Sterling before steadying to 0.7017. Euro is slightly up against the yen at 130.77.
European shares were pulled down by energy stocks, with the pan-European index FTSEurofirst 300 losing 0.43% to 1,498. France's CAC index slipped 32 points, or 0.64% to 4,879. Germany's DAX gave up 27 points, or 0.25% to 11,087. Britain's FTSE fell 0.56% to 6,300.
Wall Street opened slightly lower, with Dow Jones losing 15 points, or 0.10% to 17,804. NASDAQ gave up 0.04% to 5,103. S&P 500 slipped 0.01% to 2,089.
Canadian dollar fell to about two-months low at C$1.3435, before recovering to C$1.3369, still down 0.14% for the day. Australian dollar gave up 0.57% to $0.7195.
Gold futures were down $5.80, or 0.55% to $1,070.50 an ounce. Silver futures dipped 3 cents, or 0.26% to $14.06 an ounce.