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Oil Prices Decline as Time Winds Down Before Fed Decision

Oil prices stumbled on Wednesday ahead of the U.S. Federal Reserve’s interest rate decision, with investors uncertain when peak rates will be hit and how much of an impact it will have on energy demand.

Investors are awaiting the Fed’s interest rate decision at 2 p.m. EDT on Wednesday to assess the outlook for economic growth and fuel demand. The Fed is widely expected to keep interest rates on hold, but the focus will be on its projected policy path, which is unclear.

Global benchmark Brent crude futures fell by 58 cents, or 0.6%, to $93.76 U.S. a barrel, paring losses after trading $1.58 lower at their intra-day low on Wednesday. U.S. West Texas Intermediate crude futures edged 0.35% lower, or 32 cents, to $90.88.

Prices fell despite U.S. crude oil stockpiles falling last week by about 5.25 million barrels, according to market sources citing American Petroleum Institute figures on Tuesday. Analysts in a Reuters poll had expected a 2.2 million-barrel decline.