Oil prices hovered above $112 a barrel Wednesday in Asia as traders awaited comments from Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke about US interest rates and economic growth.
Benchmark crude for June delivery was up 18 cents at $112.39 a barrel at midday Singapore time in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange.
The contract lost 7 cents to settle at $112.21 on Tuesday.
In other Nymex trading in May contracts, heating oil fell 0.3 cents to $3.21 a gallon and gasoline slid 0.4 cents to $3.36 a gallon.
Natural gas futures were down 0.5 cents at $4.45 per 1,000 cubic feet.
Analysts said investors and traders are awaiting for change in Fed policy of keeping interest rates at extremely low levels in an attempt to stimulate the economy.
Fed policy has kept the US dollar weak and helped sharpen the surge in oil and other commodities, they added.
A softer greenback will make dollar-priced oil cheaper, boosting demand and leading to higher prices.
Meanwhile the American Petroleum Institute on Tuesday said gasoline inventories fell for a 10th week, the longest losing streak since August 1994, signaled demand is slowing in the world’s biggest crude consumer.
The Energy Department will release its Weekly Petroleum Status Report later Wednesday.
On Tuesday, crude oil prices closed mixed in cautious trade as investors awaited the outcome of a key US central bank meeting and Arab turmoil kept supply worries in focus.
New York's main futures contract, light sweet crude for June, fell seven cents to close at $112.21 a barrel.
In London, Brent North Sea crude for delivery in June rose 48 cents to settle at $124.14 a barrel as trading resumed after a four-day Easter holiday weekend.