Oil steady ahead of the release of US indicators

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Associated Press

Posted on January 30, 2013 at 6:03 AM

BANGKOK (AP) — Oil prices are nearly flat today 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 yesterday after being pushed higher by a report about rising U.S. home prices. Energy prices can rise when investors feel good about the economy, since it's needed to power manufacturing and other economic activity.

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