Oil rates fall as US Central Bank keeps interest rates unchanged


(MENAFN) Oil rates fell in early trading on Thursday as investors processed the US central bank's decision to refrain from cutting interest rates in the near future. This news, coupled with an increase in US crude oil and fuel inventories, influenced market sentiment, according to a UK-based news agency.

By 0039 GMT, brent crude futures had dropped by 14 cents, or 0.17 percent, to USD82.46 per barrel. Similarly, US West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures decreased by 16 cents, or 0.2 percent, to USD78.34 per barrel, following a 0.8 percent rise in both standard crude oils in the previous session.

The US Federal Reserve announced on Wednesday that it would keep interest rates unchanged, delaying any potential cuts until late December. Higher borrowing costs typically slow economic growth, potentially reducing oil demand. Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell emphasized in a press conference that inflation had decreased without significantly harming the economy, and he expressed confidence that this trend could continue.

Market traders are also keeping a close watch on the ongoing negotiations to establish a ceasefire in Gaza. A resolution to this conflict could alleviate concerns about potential disruptions to oil supplies from the region.

In related news, the Houthis, aligned with Iran, claimed responsibility for an attack on Wednesday involving a small boat and missiles that damaged a Greek-owned coal tanker near Yemen's Red Sea port of Hodeidah. This incident added to the geopolitical tensions affecting the oil market.

On the supply front, data from the Energy Information Administration revealed that US crude inventories had increased more than anticipated last week, driven largely by a surge in imports. Additionally, fuel inventories also rose beyond expectations.

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