Brent Pushes Towards $110
The spread between Brent and US oil widened on Thursday morning after the Federal Reserve's policy meeting ended with many wondering if the bank was going to taper sooner than expected. Brent crude oil traded at $109.58 at 6:15 GMT on Thursday.
Although the Federal Reserve opted not to taper its $85 billion per month asset purchasing plan, investors were surprised by the statements released following the meeting which many took to mean the bank could cut back on its spending sooner rather than later.
In the bank's statement following the meeting, many felt the bank took a more hawkish tone than was expected. Though the statement reignited taper woes, most aren't expecting the US central bank to make any sudden moves until early 2014.
Brent prices were buoyed by reports that Libya's crude exports declined even further as protests continued to close down the nation's oilfields. CNBC reported that Eni, an Italian energy company, has reduced its 2014 production outlook, citing the outages in both Libya and Nigeria.
However, talks between Western leaders and Iranian officials have kept a ceiling above prices as the two sides move closer to an agreement on Iran's disputed nuclear program. Iranian leader Hassan Rouhani has said he is willing to make the nation's nuclear research facilities more transparent in exchange for the removal of sanctions on Iranian oil.
The unprecedented cooperation between the two sides has many wondering if Iranian oil could flood the market relatively soon.
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