Nymex Crude Settles at Nine-Month High Ahead of Fed Move

Crude-oil futures settled at a nine-month high Tuesday, rallying in anticipation that the Federal Open Market Committee will keep stimulus efforts unchanged Wednesday.

Light, sweet crude for July delivery settled 67 cents, or 0.69%, higher at $98.44 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange, the highest since Sept. 14.

Brent crude on the ICE Futures Europe settled 55 cents higher at $106.02 a barrel.

Oil prices were lifted by expectations of the outcome of the Fed's two-day policy meeting, which began Tuesday. Stock markets also rallied as many investors grow more confident that the central bank will continue to support the U.S. recovery despite worries in recent weeks about the eventual end of the Fed's bond-buying program.

"There is recognition that there is unlikely to be a policy change," said Tim Evans, an energy analyst at Citi Futures Perspective.

The central bank has been injecting $85 billion a month into the U.S. economy through its bond-buying program, which has boosted markets such as stocks, energy and commodities. The U.S. is the world's largest consumer of oil, so any help to the broader economy was also seen as supporting fuel use.

Oil traders have paid close attention to actions by the central bank throughout the U.S. economic recovery. But they have been particularly interested since Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke's announcement in May that the central bank could reduce its bond purchases in the next few meetings amid a slowly improving U.S. economy.


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Copyright (c) 2012 Dow Jones & Company, Inc.


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Brent Crude Oil : $50.79/BBL 1.30%
Light Crude Oil : $49.96/BBL 1.10%
Natural Gas : $2.77/MMBtu 2.12%
Updated in last 24 hours