Crude oil prices ended lower about 1% to finish at $96.27 per barrel in New Yorkon Thursday after surging 1% earlier in the session on expectations that the U.S. Federal Reserve is ready with a third round of stimulus to propel the economy forward.
Information contained in the minutes of the U.S. Fed's meeting in July suggests that steps will be taken soon to provide some new stimulus to the economy.
Though the minutes did not contain any specific details about what action was to be taken, it however stressed on the need for urgent action to revive the economy unless it improved significantly on its own.
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There has been an upsurge in oil prices since August 1, banking on hopes of a boost in demand from Europe, the U.S. and China. on better growth prospects. However the economies have still not been able to shake off their lethargy and growth is still depressed.
In other futures trading on the Nymex, heating oil rose 2 cents to $3.16 per gallon. Gasoline futures rose 4 cents to $2.9739. Natural gas was down 1 cent to $2.81 per gallon.
Overall, oil prices have climbed nearly $10 per barrel since Aug. 1, partly on hopes that the U.S., Europe and China would do more to increase growth in their respective economies. Growth increases demand for oil and other energy products.
United States Oil Fund LP (ETF)(NYSEARCA:USO) fell 1.27% to $35.76 and United States Natural Gas Fund, LP(NYSEARCA:UNG) lost over 1% to $19.22.
Shares of oil companies also slide with Suncor Energy Inc. (USA)(NYSE:SU) lost 1.84%, TOTAL S.A. (ADR)(NYSE:TOT) fell 1.44% and Chevron Corporation(NYSE:CVX) declined 0.77%.