- Nymex crude oil prices rose during Asian trading hours on Wednesday after Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen suggested monetary authorities remain on course to continue tapering monthly bond purchases as the economy improves.

On the New York Mercantile Exchange, West Texas Intermediate crude for delivery in March traded at USD100.42 a barrel during Asian trading, up 0.49%.

On Tuesday the New York-traded oil futures hit a session low of USD99.92 a barrel, a high of USD100.57 a barrel and finally closing at USD99.93 a barrel.

Nymex oil futures were likely to find support at USD99.11 a barrel, Monday''s low, and resistance at USD100.53 a barrel, Monday''s high.

In prepared remarks to the House Financial Services Committee, Fed Chair Yellen suggested that the central bank will continue tapering the pace of its asset purchases at future meetings if the economy continued to improve as expected.

“Let me emphasize that I expect a great deal of continuity in the Federal Open Market Committee’s approach to monetary policy,” she said.

Yellen added that the pace of the central bank’s bond purchases are not on a “preset course” and reiterated that the Fed plans to hold interest rates near zero “well past” the time the jobless rate falls below 6.5%.

The Fed is currently purchasing USD65 billion in Treasury holdings and mortgage debt a month to suppress interest rates to spur recovery, which weakens the dollar as a side effect, though talk of less Fed intervention has the opposite effect on the U.S. currency.

A stronger greenback tends to make oil a less attractive commodity on dollar-denominated exchanges.

Cushioning losses were Yellen''s concerns that the unemployment rate remains high, leaving markets to conclude the Fed will taper oil-supporting stimulus measures gradually.

Also keeping the commodity range bound were perceptions that a decision to further taper monetary stimulus programs signals a more robust economy, one that will demand more fuel and energy going forward.

Elsewhere, on the ICE Futures Exchange in London, Brent oil futures for April delivery were up 0.07% and trading at 108.82 a barrel, while the spread between the Brent and U.S. crude contracts stood at 7.80 a barrel.

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