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Oil near $97 before week of data, Fed meeting


October 28. 2013 4:37AM
Associated Press

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(AP) Oil hovered above $97 a barrel Monday, consolidating ahead of a week littered with U.S. economic reports and a Federal Reserve policy meeting.


Benchmark U.S. crude for December delivery was down 27 cents at $97.58 a barrel at midafternoon Bangkok time in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange.


The contract gained 74 cents to $97.85 on Friday but closed out the week with a 2.9 percent loss, largely due to signs of oversupply and muted demand.


U.S. data releases this week include September industrial production, retail sales, inflation and consumer confidence as well as a Fed policy meeting that could reinforce expectations that the central bank won't begin reducing its mammoth monetary stimulus until well into next year.


The expansion of the U.S. money supply is aimed at supporting economic recovery and reducing high unemployment but has also been a boon for investors in stocks and commodities. The timing of the stimulus withdrawal has become a matter of intense speculation in markets.


Brent crude, a benchmark for international crude also used by U.S. refineries, was up 47 cents at $107.40 on the ICE futures exchange in London.


In other energy futures trading on the Nymex:


Wholesale gasoline was up 0.7 cent at $2.57 a gallon.


Natural gas fell 0.8 cent to $3.628 per 1,000 cubic feet.


Heating oil rose 0.9 cent to $2.918 a gallon.


Associated Press


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