BUSINESS

Crude oil rises above US$97 as traders wait on oil supply report, Fed meeting

01/28/2014 04:43 EST | Updated 03/30/2014 05:59 EDT
The price of oil rose nearly two per cent Tuesday, reversing losses from the previous two sessions.

Benchmark West Texas Intermediate crude for March delivery gained $1.69, or 1.8 per cent, to close at US$97.41 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange.

Two events could drive trading Wednesday: The latest report on U.S. oil supplies and the conclusion of a two-day meeting of the Federal Reserve's monetary policy committee.

Fed officials are widely expected to reduce the central bank's monthly bond buying that has underpinned an economic recovery.

Oil prices have benefited from the Fed's stimulus because it has kept the dollar from strengthening — making oil more affordable for traders using other currencies — and because low interest rates have attracted investors to commodities like crude oil in search of higher profits.

As for supplies, data for the week ended Jan. 24 is expected to show increases of 2.1 barrels in crude oil stocks and 1.6 million barrels in gasoline stocks, according to a survey of analysts by Platts, the energy information arm of McGraw-Hill Cos.

Brent crude, used to set prices for international varieties of crude, rose 72 cents t US$107.41 a barrel on the ICE Futures exchange in London.

In other energy futures trading in New York, wholesale gasoline rose one cent to US$2.63 a U.S. gallon (3.79 litres), heating oil gained three cents to US$3.12 a gallon and natural gas rose 19 cents to US$5.03 per 1,000 cubic feet

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