With a stronger US dollar and a fading possibility of a freeze on production, oil prices fell sharply. Crude oil for October delivery on the New York Mercantile Exchange slumped 76 cents, or 1.6%, to trade at $46.88 a barrel. Meanwhile, on the ICE Futures Exchange in London, Brent oil for November delivery declined 79 cents, or 1.58%, to trade at $49.36 a barrel. Oil prices fell after Federal Reserve signalled a growing conviction that the central bank would raise short-term interest rates in the weeks or months ahead. Any rise in U.S. interest rates usually doesn’t bode well for oil prices, which are priced in dollars. Higher interest rates could push the dollar higher, making oil products more expensive for oil traders who hold a different currency. There is a continued speculation over whether major oil producers, including Russia and members of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries, will agree to limit output. Any consensus reached when officials meet in Algeria in late September would give the market a long-term boost. However, chances of the OPEC members arriving at a consensus was remote as Iran said it would only cooperate in talks to freeze output if fellow exporters recognized its right to fully regain market share.