Stimulus promise helps boost oil
The price of oil erased early losses Thursday as Janet Yellen indicated that she plans to keep her predecessor's economic stimulus in place pending further improvement in the U.S. economy.
Yellen's comments helped reverse sharp morning losses in oil, partly caused by a government report showing the eighth straight increase in the nation's supply of crude oil. Benchmark U.S. crude for December delivery slipped 12 cents to $93.76 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange. Oil fell as low as $92.51 in the morning and rose as high as $94.43 in the afternoon.
The U.S. Nymex benchmark is down by about 8 percent over the past month. Traders say further declines are likely, as U.S. crude output keeps rising. Data from the Energy Department showed that in October, for the first time since 1995, the U.S. produced more crude oil than it imported — 7.7 million barrels a day against 7.6 million barrels a day.
“This is a trend that is likely to continue next year — crude oil production looks set to grow to 8.9 million barrels per day by the end of 2014, while crude oil imports are expected to drop to 5.8 million barrels per day,” said analysts at Commerzbank in Frankfurt in a note to clients.
Energy Department data for the week ended Nov. 8 showed that crude oil supplies rose by 2.6 million barrels.