NYMEX-U.S. oil steady below $99 ahead of Fed announcement
PERTH, June 19 (Reuters) - U.S. oil prices were steady below $99 on Wednesday as investors waited for the U.S. Federal Reserve to shed some light on whether it plans to taper its $85 billion stimulus programme.
The Fed's three quantitative easing schemes have been key in boosting prices of oil and other commodities.
* NYMEX crude futures for July delivery had risen 6 cents to $98.50 a barrel by 0053 GMT, after climbing to a nine-month high of $98.74 a barrel on Monday.
* Brent crude rose 6 cents to $106.08 a barrel.
* The Fed, whose two-day policy-meeting ends on Wednesday, is under pressure to roll back some of the $85 billion in monthly bond purchases under its latest programme, after some advances in the U.S. economy. Chairman Ben Bernanke will hold a press conference in Washington on Wednesday at 1830 GMT.
* U.S. commercial crude oil stocks likely fell last week due to lower imports, according to a Reuters poll. The U.S. Energy Information Agency releases its weekly data on Wednesday.
* A report late Tuesday from the American Petroleum Institute showed crude oil stocks rose last week.
* Norway's Statoil said some production fields connected to the Oseberg oil field, which in total produces nearly 120,000 barrels per day (bpd), has resumed after an outage on Monday.
* Iraq plans to ramp up oil production by nearly 45 percent by the end of 2014 to 4.5 million bpd without input from Kurdistan.
* Local authorities have given an unnamed Turkish company licenses to explore for oil in Iraqi Kurdistan, according to a report, a move that could anger the central government in Baghdad already worried about the region's growing independence.
* U.S. equities pushed higher on Tuesday as investors grew more confident the Fed would temper its recent statements on the future reduction of U.S. monetary support, while still pointing to economic improvement.
All the major currencies marked time in Asia on Wednesday as investors waited for the Fed.
* The following data is expected on Wednesday: (Time in GMT)
1430 U.S. EIA weekly crude stocks Weekly USOILC=ECI
1430 U.S. EIA weekly dist. stocks Weekly USOILD=ECI
1430 U.S. EIA weekly gasoline stk Weekly USOILG=ECI
1800 U.S. Fed funds target rate Dec USFOMC=ECI
2330 Japan Reuters Tankan DI Jun JPRTAN=ECI
(Reporting by Rebekah Kebede; Editing by Joseph Radford)