Oil prices were nearly flat Wednesday as a recent rally cooled off ahead of the release of more U.S. economic indicators and the conclusion of a meeting of Federal Reserve policymakers.
Benchmark oil for March delivery was down 1 cent to $97.56 a barrel at midday Bangkok time in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. The contract rose $1.13, or 1.2 percent, to close at $97.57 on Tuesday after being pushed higher by a report about rising U.S. home prices.
Recent rises in oil prices have been the result of an improving global economy, and positive manufacturing reports from the U.S. and China.
Brent crude, used to price international varieties of oil, rose 1 cents to $114.37 a barrel on the ICE Futures exchange in London.
In other energy futures trading on Nymex:
- Wholesale gasoline fell 1 cent to $2.966 per gallon.
- Natural gas rose 3.4 cents to $3.292 per 1,000 cubic feet.
- Heating oil rose 0.6 cent to $3.104 a gallon.