LONDON: World oil prices rose Wednesday as investors awaited minutes from the Federal Reserve’s last meeting in addition to official data on US crude inventories.

The US benchmark, West Texas Intermediate (WTI) for delivery in July, added 77 cents to $103.10 a barrel.

Brent North Sea crude for July gained 31 cents to stand at $110 a barrel around midday in London.

Dealers were to scrutinise minutes of the Fed’s April meeting for clues about the future of the central bank’s stimulus programme and its assessment of the US economy, analysts said.

Wednesday’s release of the minutes will come one day after Charles Plosser, a member of the Fed’s policymaking committee, said business conditions could require the central bank to raise interest rates “sooner rather than later”.

However, William Dudley, another Fed policymaker, said he preferred a slower pace of tightening.

“Speeches from Fed officials of opposing camps gave little clarity on future monetary policy,” said Desmond Chua, market analyst at CMC Markets in Singapore.–AFP

“We expect this issue to surface in the... minutes later.”

Dealers are also awaiting the latest official US stockpiles report Wednesday from the Department of Energy, with analysts expecting an increase.

A rise in the stockpiles typically indicates weaker demand in the world’s top crude consumer, putting downward pressure on global prices.