By Dow Jones Business News,
January 29, 2014, 03:45:00 AM EDT
Oil Falls Slightly After Fed Statement
--Oil futures fell slightly
--EIA data show larger-than-expected supply build
--Diesel futures climb to highest price since late August
NEW YORK--U.S. oil futures fell slightly Wednesday after the Federal Reserve said it would further scale back its
economic stimulus program, a measure that has helped prop up crude prices.
However, many traders looked past the widely anticipated announcement and instead focused on government data, which
showed the largest weekly crude supply gain in nearly four months.
Light, sweet crude for March delivery settled five cents lower at $97.36 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange.
Nymex crude has finished lower in three of the past four sessions.
Meanwhile, Brent crude on ICE Futures Europe gained 44 cents, or 0.4%, to $107.85 a barrel as traders cashed in
profits following earlier declines.
The U.S. central bank's policy-making committee said it would cut back its monthly bond purchases to $65 billion a
month in February, down from a pace of $75 billion in January.
The program has helped crude prices by weakening the dollar, making oil cheaper to buy with foreign currencies.
Market participants, though, were still focused on data from the U.S. Energy Information Administration released
In that report, the EIA said oil supplies rose by 6.4 million barrels to 357.6 million barrels in the week ended Jan.
24. Analysts had expected a gain of 2.2 million barrels.
The weekly supply increase was the largest since the week ended Oct. 4.
Gasoline supplies declined by 800,000 barrels, while distillate inventories, including heating oil and diesel fuel,
fell by 4.6 million barrels last week, according to the EIA data.
With the steep decline, February diesel futures climbed 5.98 cents, or 1.9%, to $4.1816 a gallon, the highest
settlement since Aug. 29.
Implied demand for distillate fuel climbed to 4.5 million barrels a day last week, the highest figure for this time of
year since 2007.
"The feature of the day was better-than-expected demand for gasoline and distillates," said Phil Flynn, an analyst at
Price Futures Group.
Front-month February reformulated gasoline blendstock, or RBOB, settled higher by 3.31 cents, or 1.3%, at $2.6609 a
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