US crude slipped below $100 per barrel on Monday on pressure from healthy supply.
Losses were limited by belief that the US Federal Reserve might delay curbing its money printing program until next year, helping to shore up the demand outlook.
Stocks of crude oil in the United States gained 4.0 million barrels versus a forecast build of 2.2 million, according to the Energy Information Administration.
Investors will scrutinize delayed US payrolls data on Tuesday for further clues on demand in the world’s largest oil consumer.
Brent crude futures for December delivery slipped by 27 cents to $109.67 a barrel by 1449 GMT. Last week, the contract lost 1.2 percent, its first weekly decline in three.
US crude oil futures for November delivery fell by 95 cents to $99.86 a barrel, after falling as low as $99.45. The contract fell below $100 per barrel for the first time since July 3.
The premium of Brent crude to US crude was heading to its highest close since June 4, as North American crude is pressured by increasing shale oil production in the United States.
“The big story remains the increased supplies out of the US that have been large enough to help compensate for lost output from Libya and Nigeria,” Jakob said.
Libyan output fell sharply as rival groups have fought for control of assets, while Nigerian oil output has been repeatedly hit by oil theft.
Indicating that investors are reluctant to make positive bets on crude oil, speculative investors like hedge funds cut net long positions in crude oil for the sixth week in seven, data from the InterContinental Exchange showed on Monday.
Investors face a deluge of data this week as US government departments catch up after a 16-day shutdown.
The EIA’s normal weekly oil data release schedule resumes with oil figures for last week due on Wednesday.
Oil prices were also supported after data from the American Petroleum Institute showed that oil demand in the United States rose 2.7 percent in September compared with year-earlier levels due to a stronger economy and export demand.
This follows positive economic data from China, the world’s second-largest oil consumer, where gross domestic product grew by 7.8 percent in the third quarter from a year earlier.
Saudi Arabia increased its oil exports by 325,000 barrels per day (bpd) in August from July to 7.795 million bpd, official data showed on Sunday.