Brent Slides Below $110 On Fed Taper
Brent crude oil lost ground on Thursday after the US Federal Reserve announced that it had decided to begin tapering its asset buying plan. The commodity traded at $109.51 at 8:20 GMT as the dollar gained and drove crude prices lower.
At the close of the Fed's December policy meeting on Wednesday, Chairman Ben Bernanke said the bank sees the US economy as strong enough to stand on its own and that the bank will slowly start to cut down its $85 billion per month bond buying stimulus.
However, Brent prices didn't fall as sharply as some were expecting. The Fed's decision to incrementally reduce its stimulus spending, as well as waiting until the US economy was strong enough to handle the taper kept markets from any radical changes. Since Bernanke announced the possibility of a taper back in September, investors had been anticipating and preparing for the move.
Losses were paired by the ongoing crisis in South Sudan which has caused many to start worrying about supply disruptions. CNBCreported that the South Sudanese army lost control of Bor, a key reversal that many believe could be the beginning of a civil war.
Stockpile data supported crude prices this week; the Energy Information Administration released a report showing that US inventories declined more than expected. The data showed that US crude inventories declined by 2.94 million barrels, smashing analysts' predictions of a 2.3 million barrel decline.
Moving forward, many see Brent prices pushing past $110 as supply worries and winter demand help buoy prices.
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