U.S. crude futures held above $50 a barrel on Tuesday morning following sharp gains in the previous two sessions, with some investors betting that the bottom of a six-month rout has been reached.
The jump comes as traders start to close record short positions in U.S. crudes, which last week rose to five-year highs. U.S. crude futures gained 46 cents to $50.03 a barrel as of 0017 GMT. The early rise on Tuesday followed gains of more than 10 percent in the previous two sessions. Brent crude settled up $1.76, or 3.3 percent, at $54.75 a barrel, swinging between a session high of $55.62 and a low of $51.41.
The rally came despite oil services company Genscape estimating a stock build of 2.3 million barrels in the Cushing, Oklahoma, delivery point for U.S. crude last week, adding to already record-high inventories in the United States.