Crude Oil Jumps on Fed’s Shaky Comments

Crude oil futures closed higher on Thursday as investors were uncertain over the comments by US Federal Reserve officials indicating further round of quantitative easing. The major officials of US Federal Reserve, William Dudley and Janel Yellen commented on US economy and indicated chances of another round of quantitative easing.

Crude oil futures contract for May delivery gained 0.9 percent or $0.94 to settle at $103.64 per barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange. Crude oil futures also gained on a weaker dollar as the ICE dollar index DXY which tracks the US dollar’s movement against the basket of six major currencies slipped to 79.250 on Thursday as compared to 79.791 on Wednesday’s late trading hours. Moreover, further to create uncertainty and boosting the demand of commodities, weekly jobless claims also increased 13,000 to 380,000 for the week.

The Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) also indicated the possible supply shortage due to the situation in Iran. However, the OPEC’s collective output increased by 136,000 barrels per day to 31.3 million barrels per day in March.

Among other energy commodities, gasoline futures contract for May delivery advanced 1.9 percent or $0.06 to settle at $3.36 per gallon while heating futures contract for the same month delivery gained 1.7 percent or $0.05 to settle at $3.17 per gallon.

Natural gas futures contract for May delivery slightly declined to $1.983 per million British thermal units. EIA also released its data on natural gas supplies according to which natural gas supplies increased by 8 billion cubic feet for the week. Analysts on average were expecting the increase within the range of 20 billion cubic feet to 24 billion cubic feet.

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