Oil held above $53 a barrel, after spending last week in the smallest trading range in 13 years as investors weighed rising U.S. drilling activity against OPEC production cuts.
Futures rose 0.4 percent in New York after fluctuating in the narrowest range since January 2004. U.S. drillers boosted the rig count to the highest since October 2015, Baker Hughes Inc. said Friday. Meanwhile, hedge funds raised net-long positions on West Texas Intermediate and Brent to a record.
Oil has traded above $50 a barrel since the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries and 11 other nations started trimming supply on Jan. 1 to ease a global glut. While Goldman Sachs Group Inc. predicts the market will shift into deficit in the first half of this year, U.S. crude stockpiles have increased the past six weeks to the highest level in more than three decades.