Oil prices decline ahead of US interest rate decision
US Department of Energy approves an exchange of 13.4 million barrels of crude oil from the Strategic Petroleum Reserve to seven companies.
Oil prices have declined as investors await the US Federal Reserve’s latest interest rate policy decision.
International benchmark Brent crude was trading at $86.80 per barrel at 0540 GMT for a 0.44 percent decrease after closing the previous session at $87.18 a barrel, early Wednesday.
American benchmark West Texas Intermediate (WTI) was at $85.24 per barrel at the same time for a 0.42 percent fall after trade in the previous session ended at $85.60 a barrel.
US Federal Open Market Committee members will vote on setting interest rates later in the day. Investors will closely watch the decision as short-term interest rates are the primary factor in currency valuation and impact the global oil trade.
Ongoing tensions in the Middle East and Eastern Europe, which compromise secure oil transit from these regions, capped the price hikes.
As part of efforts of US President Joe Biden to help control oil prices, the US Department of Energy on Tuesday approved an exchange of 13.4 million barrels of crude oil from the Strategic Petroleum Reserve to seven companies.