Oil Prices Falter Before Jackson Hole Speech

Oil Prices Falter Before Jackson Hole Speech
WTI and Brent futures posted losses Thursday.

West Texas Intermediate (WTI) and Brent crude oil futures posted losses Thursday.

The October WTI contract price lost 33 cents to end the day at $55.35 per barrel. It traded within a range from $54.85 to $56.46.

Brent crude for October delivery finished lower for the first time since August 15. The benchmark shed 38 cents Thursday to settle at $59.92 per barrel, ending two consecutive daily closes above the psychologically important $60-mark.

According to a Bloomberg article posted to Rigzone, oil prices stabilized as the oil market awaits a speech Friday by U.S. Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell. Powell will address the Kansas City Fed’s annual Jackson Hole Economic Policy Symposium at the Wyoming resort, and market players will be listening attentively for clues about future Fed action.

Specifically, some – including President Trump – hope that the Fed will again cut the federal funds rate next month to stimulate the economy. The Fed did reduce the rate in July, but Trump and others criticized the move as too tepid.

Like crude oil, reformulated gasoline (RBOB) declined Thursday. September RBOB settled at $1.67 per gallon, reflecting a nearly three-cent loss.

Also faltering Thursday was Henry Hub natural gas. September gas futures lost one cent, settling at $2.16.

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