The price of oil fell again Tuesday, slipping below $107 a barrel, as traders wait for the U.S. central bank to signal when it will start scaling back its monetary stimulus.
Benchmark oil for October delivery was down 34 cents to $106.52 per barrel at midday Bangkok time in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. The September contract fell 36 cents to settle at $107.10 on Monday.
Evidence that the U.S. economy is improving has led to speculation that the Fed will begin to reduce its $85 billion a month in asset purchases as early as September. The bond-buying program was initiated as a way to help the U.S. economy recover from a tough recession following the 2008 financial crisis.
The Fed's stimulus policy has lowered interest rates and made oil and other commodities a more attractive investment by offering potentially higher returns. A "tapering" or phasing down of the program, expected as early as next month, could push oil prices down.