Global oil prices staged a light rebound on Monday, reversing earlier losses after news of strong durable goods ordersin top crude consumer the United States, dealers said.
But prices were tempered by comments from the head of the OPEC cartel saying that crude supplies are plentiful to meet demand in 2013.
In New York trade the main contract, West Texas Intermediate crude for March delivery, rose by 56 cents from Friday to settle at US$96.44 a barrel.
London's benchmark, Brent North Sea crude for delivery in March, added 20 cents to US$113.48 per barrel, after earlier rising to nearly a three-month peak at US$113.80.
Prices were helped by data showing strength in US industry last Month. New orders for durable manufactured goods surged higher in December, led by a jump in commercial aircraft orders, government data showed.
That was the seventh increase in the last eight months, following a 0.7 per cent gain in November, and well above the 1.6 per cent rise expected by analysts.
"We had decent durable goods orders estimates for December, beating expectations with a 4.6 per cent month-on-month increase," said VTB Capital analyst Andrey Kryuchenkov.
Kryuchenkov said though that Brent "also suffered earlier from comments by OPEC Secretary General Abdullah al-Badri on plentiful supplies in the current year."
In a speech in London, Badri complained of excessive speculation in crude markets last year "despite the market being well-supplied, with OECD crude stocks above their five-year average, and with OPEC spare capacity at healthy levels.
"Looking ahead to 2013, the market is expected to remain well-supplied to meet the expected demand growth," he added.
On Friday, Brent oil had struck a three-month peak at US$113.84 on the back of a weaker US dollar, upbeat German data and growing optimism over the global economic outlook.
Later this week, traders will switch focus to the outcome of the US Federal Reserve's two-day monetary policy meeting on Wednesday.