RTTNews - Crude oil prices finished modestly lower amid choppy trading on Monday, but held above the $70 per barrel mark. Traders expressed some uncertainty ahead of the Federal Reserve's interest rate decision later this week.
Light sweet crude for September moved to $70.60 a barrel, down 33 cents for the day. Prices touched as low as $70.09 and as high as $71.57 earlier in the day.
Oil's hedge value was diminished as the dollar saw further strength versus its European rivals. The dollar moved to an 11-day high against the euro after hitting a multi-month low versus the euro. The buck found a 12-day high against the sterling.
The Federal Open Market Committee's policy meeting begins tomorrow, with the decision expected on Wednesday afternoon. The Fed is expected to leave rates in the current range of 0 to 0.25%.
Traders also awaited the Energy Information Administration inventory data on Wednesday. Last week's report showed crude oil inventories increased by 1.7 million barrels last week. Gasoline inventories decreased by 200,000 barrels.
There is no major economic news on today's calendar. Non-farm productivity and wholesale sales data headlines tomorrow's calendar.
Last week, crude oil gained $1.43 per barrel, its fourth straight weekly increase. However, crude dropped $1.01 on Friday, touching as low as $70.38.
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