Bucking the stronger trend in the dollar, oil prices rose after the violent swings towards the end of last week. On Thursday, Nymex crude soared more than $6 above $122 a barrel, but sank on Friday to close the week back down at $114.59.
Geopolitical concerns have provided the bulls with ammunition to keep a lid on losses, with the US and Russia at loggerheads over the Georgia issue and the west at odds with Iran over its nuclear programme.
But with oil cartel Opec pumping well above quota and recent data showing demand has been crimped by high petrol prices in the US, gains such as those seen on Thursday have soon been pared back.
By midday in London, the Nymex West Texas Intermediate contract for October delivery was up 81 cents at $115.40 a barrel, while the ICE Brent contract was up 94 cents at $114.86.