Crude oil prices held steady above $97 per barrel in New York Wednesday as traders waited for the Federal Reserve's monetary policy announcement. The Fed's announces its monthly policy decisions with an afternoon statement release and press conference. The Energy Information Administration also releases a U.S. inventory report Wednesday afternoons. Traders were cautious in early trading. Light, sweet West Texas Intermediate crude on the New York Mercantile Exchange lost 10 cents to hit $97.31 per barrel. Gasoline gained 2.78 cents to reach $2.6495 a gallon. Home heating oil added 4.02 cents to hit $3.162 a gallon. Natural gas gained 10 cents to reach $5.14 per million British thermal units. The national average price of unleaded regular gasoline dropped to $3.277 per gallon from Tuesday's $3.279, the AAA Daily Fuel Gauge Report said.