Oil prices eased today, as the US Federal Reserve dulls expectations for a faster economic recovery, which is needed to boost oil demand.

US crude for January CLc1 fell 38¢ to $87.90 a barrel by 05.04 GMT and ICE Brent LCOc1 nudged 5¢ lower to $91.16, reports Reuters.

The Federal Reserve did not add much to expectations for improving economic prospects, with the focus on unemployment and its commitment to buy $600bn in bonds.

The sober assessment is in contrast with increasingly optimistic forecasts of economic projections based on a stronger-than-expected data and a new government tax cut plan.

Crude prices were also pressured by the dollar, which rose against a basket of major currencies after US retail sales increased in November for a fifth straight month.