"Crude continues to extend gains as early reports from Beijing, regarding trade negotiations, are fuelling optimism around successful trade talks between the USA and China, " said Stephen Innes, head of trading for Asia-Pacific at futures brokerage Oanda in Singapore. -China trade talks and the Federal Reserve's interest rate policy.
"Responsible countries like the kingdom and other like-minded countries will continue to steward the market", Al-Falih said. "China trade talks earlier in the week appeared to have run its course and official statements after the conclusion of three days of negotiations, while indicating modest progress, lacked details".
Crude is recovering from a slump of nearly 40 percent in the final three months of 2018.
The surge in USA crude production runs counter to efforts led by the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) to cut supply aimed at reining an emerging glut.
ANALYST'S TAKE: "The sentiment pendulum has swung from USA recession fears to optimism for a dovish Fed and positive US-China trade talks". "Coupled with OPEC+'s output curb efforts, prices are likely headed for the $55 mark". Benchmark U.S. crude dropped 18 cents to $52.41 per barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. Prices surged 5.2 percent on Wednesday, capping a 17 percent climb in eight sessions to undo more than half of 2018's full-year loss.
US West Texas Intermediate crude oil futures CLc1 were at $50.42 per barrel at 0752 GMT, up 64 cents, or 1.3 per cent, from their last settlement. It's also jumped more than 20 percent since December 24.
Although crude stocks dipped by 1.7 million barrels, to 439.74 million barrels, they remained above their five-year seasonal average of 435 million barrels. Distillate stocks swelled by 10.6 million barrels, to 140.04 million barrels.
The main source of new supply is the United States, where crude oil production remained at a record 11.7 million barrels per day (bpd) in the week ending January 4, the Energy Information Administration (EIA) said on Wednesday.
"There is further upside to come in prices, as we see more evidence coming through that members of OPEC+ are complying with their new production cut", said Warren Patterson, senior commodities strategist at ING Bank NV.
Meanwhile, the USA and China wrapped up three days of mid-level trade talks on Wednesday, boosting the S&P 500 Index for a fourth day to the highest in nearly a month. China's Ministry of Commerce said there were "detailed exchanges" and both sides would "maintain close contact", without offering specifics. The U.S. said it wants any deal to include "ongoing verification and effective enforcement".
As Nomura's quant strategy team writes overnight, it has identified that "net short positions on WTI futures accumulated by CTAs have been wiped out" and that "most of the bearish payers have also exited the crude oil futures market". All comments are subject to editorial review. Off-topic, inappropriate or insulting comments will be removed.