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Oil down amid questions on Fed’s policy direction

NEW YORK — The price of oil fell Wednesday as the Federal Reserve indicated it will slow a bond-buying program that has suppressed long-term interest rates by the end of the year.

Benchmark oil for October delivery dropped $1.26 to close at $103.85 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange.

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Meanwhile, the Energy Department reported that crude oil supplies fell by 1.4 million barrels and gasoline stocks dropped by 4 million barrels in the week ended Aug. 16.

Both declines were larger than analysts expected.

Gasoline futures rose 1 cent to $2.94 a gallon.

Brent crude, which is used to set prices for imported oil used by many US refineries, fell 34 cents to $109.81 a barrel on the ICE Futures exchange in London.

The next move for oil could depend on China manufacturing data, scheduled for release Thursday.

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