Oil prices steadied around $50 this evening as the dollar shed early gains and expectatons of an Opec output agreement next month lifted crude from session lows.
US benchmark West Texas Intermediate crude settled at $50.08, down 45 cents from a day high of $50.53, while Brent crude held firm at $51.48, fluctuating from a high of $52.09 but up from an intraday low of $51.25.
The steadying prices came despite analyst expectations that US crude inventories likely rose by 2.4m barrels in the week to 14 October. In the week to 7 October, stockpiles rose by 4.9m barrels.
Industry group the American Petroleum Institute (API) will issue its report on domestic oil stocks later this evening.
Crude prices have risen around 13 per cent over the last three weeks, when Opec (the Organisation of the Petroleum Exporting Countries) reached a provisional agreement to slash output by 700,000 barrels per day (bpd).
This would take daily production to between 32.5m and 33m bpd.
It is the first proposed freeze in eight years, aiming to rein in the global supply glut.