Oil rises on Fed stimulus hopes

Oil rises on hopes Fed will do more to stimulate US economy; gasoline supply data damps gains

Associated Press

NEW YORK (AP) -- The price of oil is higher Wednesday as traders anticipate the Federal Reserve's next steps to stimulate the U.S. economy. But a big increase in the nation's gasoline supply has damped the gains.

Benchmark crude rose 53 cents to $86.32 a barrel in morning trading in New York. It rose as high as $87.16 earlier.

There's widespread expectation the Fed will unveil a new bond-buying program aimed at lowering long-term borrowing rates and encourage spending. Stimulus measures generally weaken the dollar, which tends to direct more investors into buying commodities.

Meanwhile, the government said gasoline supplies jumped twice as much last week as analysts anticipated. That's a sign of weak demand.

Prices at the pump fell to $3.31 a gallon, about 4 cents higher than this day a year ago.

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