Oil prices ended slightly higher on Tuesday in sluggish trading as the market awaited the Federal Reserve's policy statement on Wednesday that is expected to show whether it will reduce its monetary stimulus.
The program has been largely supportive of oil prices.
Brent crude futures was off an 11-week high set in the previous session and U.S. crude oil had dropped from a nine-month high.
Until the Fed's policy decision, oil trading will be largely muted, said Addison Armstrong, director of market research at Tradition Energy in Stamford, Connecticut.
"I'd expect we are going to see quiet trading between now and 23 and a half hours from now," he said.
Global financial markets have been on edge since Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke suggested the central bank would be looking to pull back its stimulus program.
The Fed started its two-day Federal Open Market Committee policy meeting on Tuesday. Its three quantitative-easing schemes have buoyed prices of commodities as they pumped liquidity into the market and lowered the value of the dollar, making greenback-traded commodities cheaper for investors in foreign currencies.
Brent crude oil futures for August delivery settled 55 cents higher at $106.02 per barrel after trading as high as $106.24. Front-month U.S. crude oil futures finished the day 67 cents higher at $98.44 per barrel, after trading as high as $98.61. U.S. oil prices fell short of $98.74, a nine-month high, reached on Monday.
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The market was rangebound on Tuesday, testing resistance and support levels after reaching new highs, Armstrong said, having hit those new highs due to possible U.S. involvement in Syria's civil war.
"The potential for the U.S. and its allies to begin arming Syrian rebels is what pushed us into this new trading range," Armstrong said.
The Syrian conflict has become a proxy for warring Middle Eastern factions. Investors fear oil supply disruptions if other Middle Eastern nations are drawn into the conflict. The region, in total, pumps more than a third of the world's oil.