Benchmark oil for June delivery was up 86 cents, or 0.9 percent, to $96.88 a barrel in midday trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange.
Oil moved higher as U.S. stock markets reversed early losses. At midday, the Dow Jones industrial average showed a gain of 19.82, or 0.1 percent.
A falling dollar also sparked interest in oil. Since oil is traded in dollars, a weaker dollar makes crude and other commodities more appealing to investors with other currencies. The euro rose to 1.2865 from $1.2829 Friday. The dollar fell to 102.46 yen from 103.18 Friday.
Later in the week, the U.S. government will release home sales and durable goods orders for April and HSBC will release its monthly survey on China's manufacturing growth.
Analysts are also awaiting testimony Wednesday from Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke. Of special interest are any possible hints that the Fed might be preparing to scale back its loose monetary policy because recent data has pointed toward a sustained economic recovery.
Brent crude, a benchmark for many international oil varieties, rose 37 cents to $104.97 a barrel on the ICE Futures exchange in London.
In other energy futures trading on Nymex:
— Wholesale gasoline was flat at $2.91 a gallon.
— Heating oil rose 2 cents to $2.95 a gallon.
— Natural gas gained 8 cents to $4.13 per 1,000 cubic feet.