London- Brent crude oil held above 104 dollars per barrel on Monday supported by strong equity markets and a slightly lower dollar.
This was in ispite a weaker outlook for fuel demand and ample supplies.
World stock markets rose to five-year highs, boosted by optimism over the outlook for global growth, while the dollar slipped 0.2 per cent against a basket of currencies, easing from its highest since July 2010.
Brent crude futures for July were down 30 cents at 104.34 dollars per barrel by 0810 GMT, after three straight sessions of gains.
U.S. crude fell 50 cents to 95.52 dollars.
``The strength of the dollar has been negative for commodities, so a slight easing in the currency is positive,'' said Olivier Jakob, analysts at Swiss energy consultancy Petromatrix.
``But short-term the market looks fairly balanced, with Brent trading in a range between 90 dollars and 110 dollars per barrel. It is difficult to see it breaking out of that for a while.''
Several countries celebrated religious festivals on Monday, keeping market volumes low in Europe.
Traders awaited the minutes of a Federal Reserve meeting due to be released on Wednesday to assess the outlook for the oil markets as any hints of continued monetary easing by the U.S. central bank would be bullish.
But the fundamental outlook for oil looked less positive with a weaker oil demand growth outlook for 2013, as well as higher supply forecasts by the International Energy Agency last week.
The IEA last week forecast eight per cent growth in world oil demand on aggregate between 2012 and 2017, while supplies outside the Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) are expected to rise 10 per cent.
Brent could rise to 105.94 dollars if it breaks through resistance at 104.82 dollars per barrel, according to Reuters market analyst Wang Tao.
U.S. crude may drop towards 94.78 dollars as it hasn't been able to convincingly break through resistance at 95.98 dollars, he added.
Oil markets found some support from tension in the Middle East which raised worries over the security of fuel supplies from the biggest producing region.
Lebanese Hezbollah militants attacked a Syrian rebel-held town alongside Syrian troops on Sunday and Israel threatened more attacks on Syria to rein the militia in.