Crude Oil Prices Fall to $96 Awating Fed Testimony

The current oil price declined to near $96 a barrel as investors wait for the latest report of the Federal Reserve on the economy of the U.S.

On the NYMEX, the U.S. benchmark crude for delivery in June was 60 cents lower to $96.11 per barrel. The contract moved 69 cents higher to settle at a crude price per barrel of $96.71 during the previous trading day.

Chairman Ben Bernanke of the Federal Reserve will soon appear before Congress, and the Central Bank will soon publicize the minutes of its latest policy meeting. Traders will be seeking indications on what the Federal Reserve may be getting ready to do with the latest news pointing toward a sustained recovery of the U.S. economy.

Speculation continues that the Fed may decide to cut back or change its extremely loose financial policy and its huge $85-billion monthly program of bond buying aimed to maintain low rates of interest and encourage the recovery of the economy.

Moreover, investors will be closely watching for new information regarding U.S. inventories of both crude and refined commodities.

A poll by Platts’ analysts shows that the recently ended inventory data is anticipated to show a draw of 1.2 million barrels in the supplies of crude oil and 200,000 barrels in the inventories of gasoline.

Both the American Petroleum Institute and the Energy Information Administration are about to release their latest report on oil inventories.

On London’s ICE Futures Exchange, Brent, the benchmark used to assign prices to international oil types, was 76 cents lower to $104.04 per barrel.