Oil prices rise towards US$97

Benchmark crude for June delivery rose to US$96.8 per barrel in electronic trading on the Nymex, while Brent crude rose 21 cents to US$105 a barrel on the ICE Futures exchange in London. The price of oil rose toward $97 per barrel on Tuesday, but gains were checked as investors await a report of the US economy on Wednesday, when the Federal Reserve chairman Ben Bernanke will release minutes of its most recent policy meeting. Speculation abounds that the Fed might want to scale back or modify its monetary policy and its US$85 bln per month program of bond purchases intended to keep interest rates low and prop up the recovery.
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