Oil rose to hit $52/bbl on Dec. 28 as U.S. President Donald Trump's signing of a coronavirus aid package and the start of a European vaccination campaign outweighed concern about weak near-term demand.

After Trump backed down from a threat to block the package, Democrats on Dec. 28 will try to push through expanded $2,000 relief payments. Europe, meanwhile, launched a mass vaccination drive on Dec. 27.

Brent crude was up 45 cents, or 0.9%, at $51.74/bbl at 13:16 GMT, after trading as high as $52.02 and reversing an earlier decline. WTI, the crude benchmark in the U.S., added 59 cents, or 1.2%, to $48.82.

"The signing of the U.S. stimulus bill, with the possibility of an increased size, should put a floor under oil prices in a shortened week," said Jeffrey Halley, analyst at broker OANDA.

Oil has recovered from historic lows hit this year as the emerging pandemic hammered demand. Brent reached $52.48 on Dec. 18, its highest since March.

But, the emergence of a new variant of the virus has led to movement restrictions being reimposed, hitting near-term demand and weighing on prices.

Oil remains vulnerable to any further setbacks in efforts to control the virus, said Stephen Innes, chief global market strategist at Axi, in a note.

Also coming into focus will be a Jan. 4 meeting of OPEC and allies, a group known as OPEC+.

The group is tapering record oil output cuts made this year to support the market.

OPEC+ is set to boost output by 500,000 bbl/d in January. Russian Deputy Prime Minister Alexander Novak said on Dec. 28 the deal could be adjusted if the market recovers more quickly than expected.