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Oil is up slightly ahead of a meeting of the Federal Reserve. A gain would be the first in six days.
Benchmark oil rose 10 cents to $85.65 per barrel Tuesday in New York.
The Fed is widely expected to announce a bond-buying program this week designed to help the U.S. economy.
The central bank's policy meeting comes as Congress has shown little sign of nearing an agreement on a budget. Without that, tax increases and spending cuts will take effect Jan. 1 that economists say could push the U.S. into recession.
Meanwhile, oil also is benefiting from a survey indicating German investors believe Europe's largest economy may escape a recession.
At the pump, AAA says the price of gasoline fell about a penny overnight to $3.328 per gallon.