Oil gave back some of its gains Wednesday as the U.S. government reported a big jump in fuel inventories, clouding the outlook for petroleum demand.
The Energy Information Administration said domestic gasoline stockpiles surged by 8.1 million barrels while stores of distillates, the class of fuels that includes home heating oil, were up 10.6 million. Crude oil inventories fell, but by less than analysts had expected.
West Texas Intermediate for February delivery was up 2.1 percent to $50.84 a barrel at 10:46 a.m. in New York after climbing as much as 3.5 percent in earlier trading.
The U.S. benchmark price climbed above $50 for the first time in three weeks late Tuesday as the U.S. and China signaled progress on ending a trade dispute and confidence grew that OPEC will cut output this year.