BUSINESS Oil prices climb as traders gauge Fed's aggressive measures

BUSINESS

Oil prices climb as traders gauge Fed's aggressive measures

Xinhua

04:39, March 24, 2020

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Staff members inspect a section of the China-Russia east-route natural gas pipeline in Heihe, northeast China's heilongjiang province, Nov. 19, 2019. (Photo: Xinhua)

NEW YORK, March 23 (Xinhua) -- Oil prices finished Monday's session with modest gains after the Federal Reserve unveiled extensive new measures to support the economy amid the COVID-19 crisis.

The West Texas Intermediate (WTI) for May delivery increased 0.73 U.S. dollar to settle at 23.36 dollars a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange, while Brent crude for May delivery rose 0.05 dollar to close at 27.03 dollars a barrel on the London ICE Futures Exchange.

The Federal Reserve announced earlier in the day that it will purchase U.S. treasuries and agency mortgage-backed securities with no limit to help markets function more efficiently amid coronavirus uncertainty.

"The coronavirus pandemic is causing tremendous hardship across the United States and around the world," the Fed said in a statement Monday morning.

"While great uncertainty remains, it has become clear that our economy will face severe disruptions. Aggressive efforts must be taken across the public and private sectors to limit the losses to jobs and incomes and to promote a swift recovery once the disruptions abate," said the U.S. central bank.

Oil dropped massively last week amid concerns of weaker demand and fears of an oil price war.

WTI crude futures settled 29 percent lower for the week ending March 20, which was the largest weekly percentage decline since the period ending Jan. 18, 1991, according to Dow Jones Market Data. Brent crude saw a weekly loss of 20.3 percent.


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