(London) Oil prices fell on Tuesday after their surge the day before, with investors’ attention turning to the Fed’s monetary policy meeting, which could leave its key rates unchanged.

At around 6:35 a.m. (Eastern time) (12:35 p.m. in Paris), the price of a barrel of North Sea Brent crude for delivery in August was down 0.20% at $81.47.

Its American equivalent, a barrel of West Texas Intermediate (WTI), for delivery in July, lost 0.26% to $77.54.

The day before, crude prices had climbed nearly 3% on speculative buying, at a time when demand could soar ahead of the U.S. driving season, a period marked by many travel and high fuel consumption.

Market attention is turning “towards macroeconomic signals and potential interest rate cuts” from central banks around the world, Energi Danmark analysts comment.

The US Federal Reserve (Fed) begins its two-day monetary policy meeting on Tuesday.

The majority of observers are counting on a status quo at the Fed before perhaps a first cut in the institution’s key rates in September.

“It is expected to lower its rate cut forecasts for this year, due to stagnant inflation and a still tight job market,” says Ipek Ozkardeskaya, analyst at Swissquote.

A high-rate environment tends to dampen growth, and therefore demand for crude, while lower interest rates are favorable to oil purchases by promoting growth.

High US rates also benefit the dollar. And since black gold prices are denominated in dollars, an appreciation of the American currency also weighs on demand for oil by reducing the purchasing power of investors using foreign currencies.

At the same time, the production strategy of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries and their OPEC allies “creates some uncertainty at the moment,” note Energi Danmark analysts.

It seems “difficult to determine whether or not (member countries) will continue their production cuts from October,” they explain.

The alliance could gradually reintroduce around 2.5 million barrels per day as early as October, but said it could reverse its decision.