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Oil near $109 on supplies drop, Fed stimulus


PAMELA SAMPSON, AP Business Writer

BANGKOK (AP) — The price of oil rose Thursday after the U.S. Federal Reserve kept its monetary stimulus in place and U.S. oil supplies fell more than expected.

Benchmark oil for October delivery was up 61 cents to $108.68 per barrel at midday Bangkok time in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange.

Prices spiked Wednesday after the Federal Reserve unexpectedly maintained its stimulus for the U.S. economy and the Energy Department reported a bigger than expected drop in supplies of crude oil and gasoline. The contract climbed $2.65, or 2.5 percent, to close at $108.07.

The Fed was widely expected to begin winding down its program of buying $85 billion a month in bonds and other assets. Instead, the central bank said it will maintain the pace of the bond purchases because it thinks the economy still needs the support.

Global stocks and commodities have surged as the new money generated by the unconventional program flowed through the financial system. Stocks rose sharply Wednesday following the Fed's announcement. The Standard & Poor's 500 and the Dow Jones industrial average jumped to all-time highs.

Both the U.S. Energy Department and the American Petroleum Institute said supplies of crude oil fell for the week ending Sept. 13.

The Energy Department said supplies by 4.4 million barrels last week, almost three times more than analysts expected, to 355.6 million barrels. The API said supplies fell by 298,000 barrels to 359.2 million barrels.

Brent crude, the benchmark for international crudes used by many U.S. refineries, was up 29 cents to $110.89 a barrel on the ICE Futures exchange in London.

In other energy futures trading in New York:

— Wholesale gasoline rose 0.1 cent to $2.728 per gallon.

— Natural gas rose 2.2 cents to $3.735 per 1,000 cubic feet.

— Heating oil rose 0.9 cent to $3.05 per gallon.

 

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