NEW YORK, May 23 (Xinhua) -- Oil prices eked out modest gains in volatile trading on Monday.
The West Texas Intermediate for July delivery added 1 cent to settle at 110.29 U.S. dollars a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange. Brent crude for July delivery increased 87 cents, or nearly 0.8 percent, to close at 113.42 dollars a barrel on the London ICE Futures Exchange.
The above market moves came as the European Union has been stalled for several weeks over a proposal to phase out Russian oil.
Prices garnered some support from tight fuel supplies in the United States.
The U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) reported last week that the nation's total motor gasoline inventories decreased by 4.8 million barrels in the week ending May 13 and stood around 8 percent below the five year average for this time of year. Distillate fuel inventories increased by 1.2 million barrels in the above-mentioned period, but remained about 22 percent below the five year average.
Also lending buoyancy to prices was market optimism that China would see a solid recovery in fuel demand.
Meanwhile, oil gains were somewhat capped by concerns over slowing global growth.
For the week ending Friday, the U.S. crude benchmark rose 2.5 percent, while Brent gained 0.9 percent. ■