The price of oil rose Thursday on expectations the Federal Reserve's monetary stimulus campaign will stay in place despite a vow to begin scaling it back, AP reported.
The official estimate of U.S. economic growth was Wednesday lowered to an annual rate of 1.8 percent for the January-March quarter, sharply down from a previous estimate of 2.4 percent. That raised hopes that the U.S. Federal Reserve will keep in place its bond buying program, which has been a boon to stock and commodity markets by lowering interest rates and weakening the dollar.
The Fed has said its $85 billion a month of government bond purchases could be scaled back starting later this year if the economy keeps improving.
Benchmark oil for August delivery was up 16 cents to $95.66 a barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. The contract rose 18 cents Wednesday to close at $95.50 per barrel.
Brent crude, which is used to set prices for oil used by many U.S. refineries to make gasoline, rose 35 cents to $102.01 a barrel.
In other energy futures trading on the Nymex:
- Natural gas fell 0.4 cents to $3.733 per 1,000 cubic feet.
- Heating oil rose 0.9 cents to $2.863 a gallon.
- Wholesale gasoline rose 0.6 cent to $2.723 a gallon.