NEW YORK — The price of oil is rising on hopes that the Federal Reserve will announce new measures to stimulate the U.S. economy.

U.S. West Texas Intermediate crude rose 82 cents to $84.09 per barrel while Brent crude added 39 cents to $96.44.

The Fed holds a two-day meeting that ends Wednesday, and in the past has taken action to encourage Americans to spend and borrow. Many analysts think the struggles of the U.S. economy and Europe's debt crisis will compel the Fed to say or unveil something to try to boost confidence.

Any sign that the Fed is willing to take action could lift oil prices, which have fallen sharply the past six weeks over fears that growth in the global economy will stall.

Meanwhile, U.S. gasoline prices fell below $3.50 per gallon for the first time since Feb. 10.