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US oil boosted by Fed's no taper surprise, ends near $108

Wednesday, 18 Sep 2013 | 2:44 PM ET
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Crude rallied sharply on Wednesday, with U.S. oil roaring above $108 after the Federal Reserve's surprising decision to keep its foot on the monetary policy accelerator.

In a surprising decision, the Fed voted to maintain its massive monetary stimulus at current levels, rather than weaning markets off its crisis-era cheap money. On the margins, that development is considered bullish for commodities prices, with the liquidity expected to boost crude.

At least momentarily, investors ignored efforts by major world powers to curb Syria's use of chemical weapons - easing concerns that an armed conflict could take a toll on oil supplies, or lead to a wider conflict.

Brent crude oil futures for November rose by more than $2 to just over $110 a barrel, after slipping to its lowest in more than a month in the previous session. U.S. crude oil futures surged by $2.65, settling at $108.07 a barrel.

U.S. crude oil inventories fell 4.37 million barrels last week to 356 million barrels, their lowest level since March 2012, according to data issued by the U.S. Energy Information Administration on Wednesday. The drop of over 4 million barrels was far steeper than market expectations, and greater than the 252,000-barrel fall recorded by the American Petroleum Institute.

It was also the biggest drop since June 28 when the current trend of generally declining crude oil inventories began. Stocks fell over 10 million barrels at the end of June.

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--Reuters contributed to this article.

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