Crude oil prices headed back toward $109 per barrel Thursday morning, as markets reacted to the U.S. Federal Reserve's policy announcement.
The Fed Wednesday said it would continue with an $85 billion per month asset purchasing program that has provided liquidity to financial markets and kept long-term borrowing rates low.
Equities and commodities soared on the announcement. Oil prices, which had retreated to less than $106 per barrel on waning worries about a U.S. military strike in Syria, turned higher.
The Energy Information Administration added spice to the moment. In a report released late Wednesday, the EIA said U.S. oil inventories shrank by 4.4 million barrels to 355.6 million in the week that ended Friday.
On the New York Mercantile Exchange, West Texas Intermediate crude oil for October delivery added 63 cents to $108.70 per barrel. Reformulated blendstock gasoline prices added 9.73 cents to $2.7584 per gallon. Home heating oil gained 1.83 cents to $3.0588 per gallon. Natural gas gained 2 cents to $3.74 per million British thermal units.
At the pump, the national average price of unleaded gasoline fell to $3.494 per gallon Thursday from Wednesday's $3.506, AAA's Daily Fuel Gauge Report said.