US Oil Slips On Fed Tapering Speculation
NEW YORK, Dec 13 (Reuters) - U.S. crude futures fell on Friday on expectations the Federal Reserve could announce a pullback of its bond-buying program as early as next week.
The Fed stimulus, or quantitative easing, has supported riskier assets such as commodities and equities.
Brent crude edged higher, in seesaw trading ahead of the January futures contract expiration on Monday, on support from uncertainty about whether oil ports in eastern Libya will resume exports.
"We've had the Fed potentially talking about the tightening of monetary policy, so that's going to bring us down a bit," said Phil Flynn, an analyst at the Price Futures Group in Chicago, Illinois.
"After the failure to follow through and break above $99 [per barrel], people are realizing 'Hey, there's a lot of supply here in the market'," he added.
U.S. crude futures for January delivery fell 90 cents to settle at $96.60 a barrel, posting a 1 percent loss on the week. At this week's high of $98.75 reached on Wednesday, U.S. futures prices had gained $5 since the beginning of December.
Upbeat economic data from the United States on Thursday heightened speculation among commodity and equities investors that the Fed, which holds a two-day policy meeting next week, may be ready to start trimming its monthly bond purchases.
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