Oil prices shift ahead of Federal Reserve meeting

Oil prices move between small gains, losses as ahead of key Federal Reserve meeting

Associated Press

Oil is moving between small gains and losses ahead of a meeting of the Federal Reserve.

Benchmark oil rose 9 cents to $85.65 per barrel Tuesday in New York. The price has fallen for five straight sessions.

The Fed holds a two-day policy meeting and is expected to unveil a new bond-buying program designed to help the U.S. economy.

Traders are also watching budget negotiations in Washington. There's little sign that Congress and the White House are near an agreement that would avoid tax increases and spending cuts that economists warn pose the threat of another recession.

Oil rose earlier after a survey indicated German investors believe Europe's largest economy may escape a recession despite the region's economic struggles.

At the pump, average gasoline prices fell about a penny overnight to $3.328 per gallon, according to AAA, Wright Express and the Oil Price Information Service. That's about 5 cents more than a year ago.

In other trading, Brent crude, which is used to price international varieties of oil, increased 24 cents to $107.57 per barrel in London.

Other futures on the New York Mercantile Exchange:

— Heating oil rose 2 cents to $2.92 per gallon.

— Wholesale gasoline rose 1 cent to $2.61 per gallon.

— Natural gas fell 1 cents to $3.45 per 1,000 cubic feet.

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