Oil hovers near $106 ahead of Fed policy meeting

Oil prices hover near $106 a barrel as investors ponder possibility of Fed stimulus move

Associated Press
Oil slips to near $106 ahead of Fed policy meeting
.

View photo

FILE - In this Wednesday, Sept. 11, 2013, file photo, oil pumps work in the desert oil fields of Sakhir, Bahrain. Oil prices fell slightly Friday, Sept. 13, 2013, as the U.S. and Russia held discussions in Geneva aimed at getting Syria to give up its chemical weapons. (AP Photo/Hasan Jamali, File)

BANGKOK (AP) -- The price of oil hovered near $106 a barrel Tuesday, anticipating that the U.S. Federal Reserve's two-day policy meeting will end with an announcement to scale back its unprecedented monetary stimulus.

Benchmark oil for October delivery was down 55 cents to $106.04 per barrel at late afternoon Bangkok time in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. The contract fell $1.62 to close at $106.59 on Monday.

The U.S. central bank has been on a bond-buying spree that has pumped the economy full of money, pushing down interest rates and making loans more easily available. The aim of all that was to spur lending, growth and investment. Global stocks and commodities surged.

But recent data has shown the U.S. is slowly recovering from the severe downturn that followed the collapse of Lehman Brothers in 2008, convincing Fed members that it might be time to wind down the stimulus program. Oil markets have reacted negatively to the prospect.

"Tapering might derail the recovery, and if that happens, there is less growth and then less demand for commodities like oil," said Stan Shamu, market analyst at IG in Melbourne, Australia.

The contract for November delivery for Brent crude, the benchmark for international crudes used by many U.S. refineries, fell 53 cents to $109.54 a barrel in London.

In other energy futures trading in New York:

— Wholesale gasoline fell 0.5 cent to $2.701 per gallon.

— Natural gas rose 2.1 cents to $3.759 per 1,000 cubic feet.

— Heating oil fell 0.9 cent to $3.055 per gallon.

View Comments