The price of oil circled $94 for a second week, as the promise of the continuation of the Federal Reserve’s economic stimulus was balanced by abundant U.S. supplies.
Oil rose 8 cents to close at $93.84 a barrel Friday, one day after incoming Federal Reserve chief Janet Yellen indicated that economic stimulus will remain in place pending further improvement in the U.S. economy. The Fed’s low-interest-rate policy has supported investment in riskier assets such as oil and stocks.
Yellen’s remarks helped offset further signs of oversupply. Data from the Energy Department showed the U.S. produced more crude oil than it imported in October for the first time since 1995. It also showed crude oil supplies rising for an 8th straight week, by 2.6 million barrels.
Oil has traded between $93 and $96 a barrel over the past two weeks, and is down 77 cents since Nov. 1.
At the pump, the average price for a gallon of gasoline rose 1 cent to $3.20. That’s still down 16 cents from a month ago and 24 cents lower than at this time last year.
Brent crude, the benchmark for an international variety of crude, gained 22 cents to $108.50 a barrel on the ICE exchange in London.
In other energy futures trading on Nymex:
- Wholesale gasoline fell 3 cents to $2.66 a gallon.
- Heating oil gained 1 cent to $2.94 a gallon.
- Natural gas rose 6 cents to $3.66 per 1,000 cubic feet.