Oil prices increased Monday as the U.S. dollar eased against most of its peers, making the greenback-priced crude less expensive and more attractive for buyers holding other currencies.
The U.S. dollar index, a measure of the dollar against a basket of major currencies, fell 0.52 percent to 97.23 on Monday, as data showed the country's existing-home sales came out lower than expected.
U.S. existing-home sales rose 1.2 percent from 4.82 million in January to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 4.88 million in February, missing market consensus of 4.94 million, said the National Association of Realtors on Monday.
The number of U.S. rigs actively drilling for oil and natural gas fell 56 to 1,069 in the previous week, said oil service company Baker Hughes last Friday. Analysts believed that low crude prices forced U.S. shale oil producers to slow down the output.
U.S. crude production reached 9.419 million barrels by the week ended March 13, the highest level since 1983, according to Energy Information Administration, the Energy Department's statistical arm.
Light, sweet crude for May delivery gained 0.88 U.S. dollars to settle at 47.45 dollars a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange,while Brent crude for May delivery moved up 0.6 dollars to close at 55.92 dollars a barrel.