RTTNews - Crude oil closed a choppy session modestly lower on Wednesday after the Federal Reserve left interest rates unchanged. Investors also mulled over the Energy Department's weekly inventory report, which showed a drop in crude stocks but a rise in gasoline supplies.
Light sweet crude for August delivery dropped to $68.67 per barrel, down 57 cents on the session. Oil had ouched as high as $69.86 earlier in the session.
The Federal Open Market Committee kept its key interest rate steady Wednesday, leaving it at a target range between 0 and 0.25 percent. THe move was widely expected. The central bank noted some improvement in the economy, and removed its warning about the possibility of deflation, but fears remain about the lasting impact of massive stimulus efforts.
Earlier, U.S. commercial crude oil inventories decreased by 3.8 million barrels in the week ended June 19. Experts were looking for a drop of 1.2 million barrels. Gasoline inventories increased by 3.9 million barrels last week.
Over the last four weeks, motor gasoline demand has averaged nearly 9.2 million barrels per day, up by 0.4 percent from the same period last year. Distillate fuel demand fell 9.3 percent and jet fuel demand was 13.9 percent lower.
Earlier, a Commerce Department report said durable goods orders rose 1.8 percent in May, matching the revised increase seen in April. Later another Commerce Department report showed that new home sales edged down 0.6 percent to an annual rate of 342,000 in May from a revised April rate of 344,000.
Also on Wednesday, the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development Wednesday upgraded the economic outlook for its 30 member countries. The Paris-based group said the slowdown in these economies is reaching its bottom, but recovery is likely to be weak and fragile.
In addition, the OECD warned that the economic and social damage caused by the crisis would last for a long time.
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