RTTNews - Crude oil gained for a fourth straight day on Monday as higher global equities led to optimism regarding energy demand. However, prices haced off their highs of the day as traders collected profits.

Light sweet crude oil for August settlement finished at $63.98 per barrel, up 42 cents on the session. Prices reached as high as $64.90, a 13-day best.

A weaker dollar also added to oil's hedge value. The buck stabilized near a six-week low of 1.4248 against the euro and fell to a three-week low of 1.6556 against the British pound. The greenback also turned to the downside against the yen, moving off a 13-day high.

On the economic front, a Conference Board report showed that the leading indicators index increased by 0.7 percent in June following an upwardly revised 1.3 percent increase in May. Economists had expected the index to increase by 0.5 percent compared to the 1.2 percent increase originally reported for the previous month.

On Tuesday, Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke will deliver his semi-annual monetary policy testimony to the House Financial Services Committee. Testimony begins at 10 a.m. ET and will resume Wednesday.

Energy traders tooked ahead to the Energy Information Administration's weekly inventory report. Last week's data showed crude oil inventories decreased by 2.8 million barrels from the previous week. Gasoline inventories increased by 1.5 million barrels.

Last week, crude finished up $3.70, its first weekly gain in five. Oil advanced $1.54 on Friday, rising for a third straight session after falling in nine of the previous 10.

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