Oil slips below $100 ahead of Yellen's 1st testimony as Fed chief

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Oil slips below $100 ahead of Yellen's 1st testimony as Fed chief

The price of oil slipped below US$100 a barrel Tuesday ahead of congressional testimony by the U.S. Federal Reserve's new chief.

Benchmark U.S. crude for March delivery was down 8 cents to $99.97 a barrel at 3 a.m. ET in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. Oil gained 18 cents to close at $100.06 on Monday.

Investors are waiting to see whether Janet Yellen, who was last week confirmed as Fed chief, will consider a pause in the central bank's withdrawal of the monetary stimulus after a second month of weak hiring.

Government data showed the number of jobs created in January was much lower than expected but unemployment fell to its lowest in six years.

The central bank has embarked on a policy to gradually reduce its stimulus, which has helped shore up a number of financial assets over the past few years, including oil prices.

Brent crude, which is used to set prices for international varieties of crude, edged up 5 cents to $108.68 a barrel on the ICE exchange in London.

In other energy futures trading in New York:

— Wholesale gasoline was up 0.1 cent to $2.746 a gallon.

— Heating oil shed 0.1 cent to $2.997 a gallon.

— Natural gas added 5.6 cents to $4.635 per 1,000 cubic feet.

(TSX:ECA, TSX:IMO, TSX:SU, TSX:HSE, NYSE:BP, NYSE:COP, NYSE:XOM, NYSE:CVX, TSX:CNQ, TSX:TLM, TSX:COS.UN, TSX:CVE)

Organizations: U.S. Federal Reserve, TSX, NYSE New York Mercantile Exchange BP

Geographic location: U.S., London, New York

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