Oil has held below $111 as talks regarding the US fiscal cliffs resume.
The deadline for coming to an agreement about how to cushion some of the impact from the imminent parcel of tax rises and spending cuts is now less than a week away and the president has curtailed his Christmas holiday in Hawaii in order to return to the negotiating table.
Economists claim that any deal is likely to involve big cuts in the government budget and a reduction in consumer spending power, which would dampen the world's largest economy and oil market in turn.
However, any agreement is better than nothing at all, as the full force of the fiscal cliff threatens to land households with an additional $2,200 (£1,360) in outgoings a year, while also threatening to plunge the nation back into recession.
At 14:45 GMT, Brent Crude Oil Futures retreated by 0.2 per cent to $110.83 per barrel.
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