Crude oil prices jumped Thursday morning, topping $98 per barrel, as traders anticipated a U.S. Federal Reserve policy announcement.
In the afternoon, the U.S. Federal Reserve may or may not announce a third round of bond buying, called quantitative easing, meant to stimulate a sluggish economic recovery.
Price movement has been low-key for the week, but traders Thursday morning revealed a perceptible itch, as West Texas Intermediate crude oil for October delivery jumped above a range in place since early August, adding $1.17 to reach $98.18 per barrel.
Natural gas, which tends to move in the opposite direction of crude oil, shed 3.9 cents to $3.024 per million British thermal units.
Home heating oil added 1.09 cents to $3.2261 per gallon. Reformulated blendstock gasoline lost 1.85 cents to $2.9831 per gallon.
At the pump, the average price for a gallon of regular unleaded gasoline was $3.869 per gallon, up from Wednesday's $3.858, AAA reported.