London - World oil prices slid on Monday as investors locked in profits from last week's gains that were made on the back of positive US consumer sentiment data, analysts said. Brent North Sea crude for delivery in July dropped 51 cents to $104.13 a barrel in London midday deals. New York's main contract, light sweet crude or West Texas Intermediate for June, fell 49 cents to $95.53 a barrel.

"It is a very quiet day in the markets due to holidays across several European countries while economic data is non-existent, meaning crude oil is driven more by technical buying and selling rather than the fundamentals today," said analyst Fawad Razaqzada at trading group GFT Markets.

"Profit-taking is also playing a key part especially after the sharp rally we saw in the second half of last week. Thus it is hardly surprising that we are seeing prices fall today."

Crude futures had surged late last week after a better-than-expected reading on US consumer confidence boosted hopes for stronger energy demand in the world's biggest economy and sent Wall Street to new record highs on Friday.

The University of Michigan's index on consumer sentiment in May came in at 83.7. That was above the 78.5 estimated by analysts. The upbeat news boosted the oil market because the United States is also the world's biggest consumer of crude.

Traders are meanwhile awaiting US Federal Reserve chairman Ben Bernanke's assessment of the US economy later in the week. On Wednesday, Bernanke will update Congress on the US central bank's economic outlook in testimony before the Joint Economic Committee.

Markets will watch closely for indications on when the Fed will start winding down its massive bond-buying programme that is aimed at boosting economic growth. Other US data due this week includes home sales, durable goods orders and personal consumption.