RTTNews - Crude oil finished slightly lower amid a bout with profit-taking on Monday, but recovered most of its earlier losses. Global equities rebounded, adding to the hopes for improved energy demand.

Light sweet crude for July delivery finished at $68.09 per barrel, down 35 cents on the session. Earlier, oil fell as low as $66.78 but later climbed as high as $68.95.

The dollar reached near-term highs against the euro and sterling, continuing to move away from multi-month lows from last week. The greenback remained stable near a monthly high against the yen.

There was no major economic data on the calendar for Monday in the U.S. Traders peeked ahead to the April wholesale trade data report on Tuesday at 10 a.m. ET.

At the same time, the Joint Economic Committee will hold hearings to examine the Troubled Asset Relief Program for accountability and oversight. The hearings will include the panel's assessment of the stress tests and the implications the tests have had on TARP recipients.

Investors also awaited the Energy Information Administration's weekly inventory report. Last week's data showed crude inventories increased by 2.9 million barrels in the week ended May 29. Experts were looking for a drop of about 2 million barrels.

Crude oil finished last week up $1.83 per barrel, after rising nearly 30% in May. Crude hit a seven-month intraday high of $70.32 on Friday.

AAA data showed gasoline prices moved to $2.619 per regular unleaded gallon, up from the month-ago level of $2.195 but still well below the levels of $4.005 from a year ago. Gasoline hit a record $4.114 on July 17.

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