Oil closed higher on Wednesday, recovering some earlier losses, as U.S. stocks recovered and refined products data supported prices.
U.S. crude for October settled up 1.85 percent, at $46.25 a barrel, having traded as low as $43.21 earlier after U.S. government data showed a big rise in U.S. crude stockpiles, adding to concerns about global oversupply and sluggish economic growth in China.
But there were some supportive aspects to the inventory report, especially in terms of gasoline, John Kilduff, partner at Again Capital LLC in New York, said.
"The report is mixed in that it is bearish for crude oil, but somewhat supportive of refined products," he said. "Crude oil imports rebounded markedly and refinery utilization fell again, allowing for the substantial crude oil inventory rise."
U.S. crude oil stocks rose by 4.7 million barrels to 455.4 million barrels last week, the Energy Information Administration (EIA) said.
"While there is some seasonality to crude beginning to build at this time of the year, a four-plus-million-barrel build is bearish and larger than normal," said Scott Shelton, commodities specialist with ICAP in Durham, North Carolina.
Analysts in a Reuters poll had expected U.S. crude stocks to have remained flat last week and the EIA report followed Tuesday's report from American Petroleum Institute (API) showing crude stocks rose 7.6 million barrels to 456.9 million.