Oil prices were higher on the first trading day of 2019, bolstered by signs of tighter supplies from Saudi Arabia that offset record output in the United States and Russia and weak economic data.
Crude futures jumped as much as 5 percent earlier in the session, but gave up some of those gains in afternoon trading.
U.S. West Texas Intermediate crude ended Wednesday's session at a two-week high, up $1.13, or 2.5 percent, to $46.54. Brent crude rose $1.13, or 2.1 percent, to $54.93 a barrel at 2:28 p.m. ET, after trading as low as $52.51 earlier.
Traders pointed to signs that Saudi Arabia is beginning to make good on vows to cut output after a swift fourth-quarter collapse in oil prices. Saudi exports in December fell by about half a million barrels per day to stand at 7.253 million bpd, according to tanker-tracking data from Bloomberg.
January marks the beginning of OPEC's agreement with 10 other oil-producing nations, including Russia, to cut production by 1.2 million bpd.