Crude oil futures edge lower to trade below USD96 a barrel

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Investing.com - Crude oil futures were lower for the first time in four days on Monday, giving back some of its recent gains as investors were hesitant to extend the previous session's sharp rally.

On the New York Mercantile Exchange, light sweet crude futures for delivery in July traded at USD95.78 a barrel during European morning trade, down 0.5% on the day.

New York-traded oil prices fell by as much as 0.6% earlier in the day to hit a session low of USD95.77 a barrel.

Nymex oil rallied to a one-week high of USD96.42 a barrel on Friday, after data showed that U.S. consumer sentiment rose more than expected in May, climbing to an almost six year high.

The University of Michigan said its consumer sentiment index jumped to 83.7 in May, its highest level since 2007, from 76.4 in the preceding month, outstripping expectations for a reading of 78.0.

A separate report by the Conference Board showed that its index of leading economic indicators rose 0.6% in April, more than double the 0.2% increase expected by economists.

The U.S. is the world's biggest oil consuming country, responsible for almost 22% of global oil demand.

Oil traders are now looking ahead to Wednesday's Federal Reserve minutes, amid speculation over an earlier-than-expected end to the central bank's quantitative easing program.

Elsewhere, on the ICE Futures Exchange, Brent oil futures for June delivery shed 0.2% to trade at USD104.41 a barrel, with the spread between the Brent and crude contracts standing at USD8.63 a barrel.

The gap between the contracts narrowed to the lowest level since January 2011 last week, amid an improving production outlook in the North Sea and indications of declining stockpiles at Cushing, Oklahoma, the delivery point for Nymex oil futures.

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