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Oil market dips as traders wait on Fed

More turbulence in global financial markets on Monday helped press oil prices lower amid rising concerns for global economic growth.

NEW YORK: More turbulence in global financial markets on Monday helped press oil prices lower amid rising concerns for global economic growth.

In New York the main contract, West Texas Intermediate crude for March delivery, dropped 92 cents to finish at $95.72 a barrel.

London's benchmark, Brent North Sea crude for March, shed $1.19 to stand at $106.69 per barrel.

Stocks continued to sink on Monday in Asia and Europe, and remained frail in the United States, on the heels of last week's rout.

Kash Kamal at the Sucden brokerage in London said trade was thin in part due to the onset of the Chinese Lunar New Year holidays and in part as traders waited to see how the US Federal Reserve shapes monetary policy in its two-day meeting beginning Tuesday.

The oil market faced "continued uncertainty as investors adopt a wait-and-see attitude ahead of the Fed's meeting later this week", he said.

The Fed is generally expected to make another cut to its stimulus program, bringing it down to $65 billion a month in bond purchases.

The so-called tapering of the Fed's asset purchases would likely boost the greenback, making dollar-priced oil more expensive for buyers using weaker currencies.

"Slowing growth in China has also been a factor," said Brenda Kelly, senior market strategist at traders IG.

"With manufacturing output in the second-largest global economy slated to show a decline this month, oil may well be in for additional losses."

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