Oil prices rise on Fed statement

New York, April 28 (IANS) Oil prices jumped as the US Federal Reserve decided to keep the target range for the federal funds rate unchanged.

The West Texas Intermediate for June delivery on Wednesday surged $1.29 to settle at $50.15 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange, while Brent crude for June delivery increased $1.44 to close at $47.18 a barrel on the London ICE Futures Exchange, Xinhua news agency reported.

The US Federal Reserve on Wednesday announced that it will maintain the target range for the federal funds rate at 0.25-0.5 percent, but gave little clue on the timing of its next rate hike.

The US labor market conditions “have improved further” even as growth in economic activity “appears to have slowed,” the Fed said in a statement after wrapping up a two-day policy meeting, noting that it will continue to “closely monitor” inflation indicators and global economic and financial developments.

The Fed currently expects that the US economy will expand “at a moderate pace” and the labor market indicators will “continue to strengthen”, according to the statement.

Meanwhile, US crude supplies of last week gained 2 million barrels to an all-time peak of 540.6 million barrels, the Energy Information Administration (EIA) said in its weekly report released on Wednesday.



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