Report: US asks nations to consider releasing oil

A media report says US President Joe Biden's administration has asked Japan, China and other countries to consider releasing their crude oil reserves in a coordinated effort to lower global energy prices.

Reuters on Wednesday reported that Biden and his top aides discussed the possibility of a coordinated release of stockpiled oil with Japan, South Korea, India and China, citing several sources.

Also on Wednesday, President Biden asked the Federal Trade Commission to look into possible "illegal conduct" by oil and gas companies that is causing a spike in gas prices.

Global crude prices are expected to remain high after a group of major oil-producing nations decided not to raise its output in December beyond its current plan. The Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries, or OPEC, led by Saudi Arabia, and non-OPEC nations, including Russia, made the decision earlier this month.

In the US, gasoline prices are at a seven-year high and consumer prices in October surged at the fastest pace in more than 30 years.

With Biden's approval rating at the lowest level since he took office, the administration is eager to find a way to ease the impact of high energy prices on the public.