New York's main contract, light sweet crude for delivery in June gained 11 cents to $94.32 a barrel in the afternoon and Brent North Sea crude for June delivery added ten cents to $102.70.

"Oil has been on a downtrend for more than a week. We are seeing dealers cutting their short position, which has tipped prices a little higher," Kelly Teoh, market strategist at IG Markets in Singapore, told AFP.

US retail sales edged up 0.1 percent in April from March, led by sales of building and garden supplies and clothing, Commerce Department data released Monday showed.

The slight improvement in consumer spending to $419.0 billion was better than expected. Analysts had predicted a decline of 0.3 percent as consumers dealt with a January 1 increase on payroll and other taxes.

"Retail sales numbers suggest the US economy is gaining its strength and that the downsides are limited," Teoh said.

Crude futures had fallen earlier in the week with fresh signs of economic weakness in China -- the world's largest energy consumer -- and an output boom in North America.

It also remained under pressure by brimming US stockpiles, which rose to a record level last week.