Oil Prices Climb Ahead of Bernanke's Speech

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As the Fed gets deeper into its stimulus program, it's increasingly going off the map.

Associated Press + More

By The Associated Press, Associated Press

Oil is climbing after China's central bank cut its interest rates to give a boost to its slowing economy.

Traders also are waiting for Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke's testimony before Congress this morning. They will listen for clues about whether the Fed may be considering additional measures to spur economic growth.

[Read: Bernanke Likely to be Pressed on Health of Economy.]

Benchmark crude rose $1.72, or 2 percent, to $86.74 per barrel in New York. Brent crude gained $1.49 to $102.17 per barrel in London.

The Chinese central back is cutting its benchmark interest rate to try to increase economic growth. China imports large amounts of oil, so the move may help increase demand for oil and other energy products.

At the pump, the national average for a gallon of gasoline fell a half cent overnight to $3.56.

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