NYMEX-Crude hovers below $86; Fed, OPEC meeting eyed
SINGAPORE, Dec 12 (Reuters) - U.S. oil futures steadied below $86 a barrel on Wednesday after modest gains in the prior session spurred by OPEC comments that members pumped less oil last month.
Investors are awaiting the outcome of a Federal Reserve policy meeting later in the day at which the U.S. central bank is expected to announce more economic stimulus while also keeping an eye on a gathering by OPEC ministers.
* U.S. crude for January delivery was at $85.76 a barrel by 0036 GMT, 3 cents below the Tuesday's close.
* Expectations are high that the Fed will unveil plans to purchase $45 billion more bonds every month, on top of the $40 billion it announced in September, to bring down unemployment.
* That should help spur demand in the world's top oil consumer and aid a fragile economic recovery.
But a looming fiscal crisis could put that recovery at risk, with economists predicting the economy could slip back into recession without a deal between the White House and U.S. lawmakers to prevent steep tax hikes and spending cuts from taking effect on Jan. 1.
* Negotiations to avert the "fiscal cliff" picked up pace as President Barack Obama and U.S. House of Representatives Speaker John Boehner spoke by phone on Tuesday after exchanging new proposals. But Boehner said Obama's reduced demand for new tax revenues remains unacceptable.
* OPEC ministers meet in Vienna and the oil exporting countries are expected to keep their output quota at a combined 30 million barrels per day.
* While they produced above quota levels, OPEC states pumped less oil last month, down 210,000 barrels per day to 30.78 million barrels per day, the group said in a monthly report on Tuesday.
* The dollar wallowed at three-month lows against the Australian currency and remained broadly under pressure on Wednesday as markets geared up for more stimulus from the Federal Reserve.
* Shares on major markets across the world rose to near a two-month high and the euro gained versus the U.S. dollar on Tuesday after German investor sentiment improved sharply in December and on cautious optimism the United States will avoid a fiscal crisis.
1000 Euro zone Industrial production Oct
1330 U.S. Import/export prices Nov
1730 Federal Open Market Committee policy statement
1915 Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke news conference
(Reporting by Manolo Serapio Jr.; Editing by Himani Sarkar)