Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Crude Oil Rises to a Six Month High on U.S. Stimulus Bets

Crude oil surged to its highest level in six months as the dollar weakened against major currencies on speculation the Federal Reserve will take measures to stimulate the economy. Crude rose 1.2 percent as the dollar’s decline boosted the appeal of commodities as an alternative investment. The Fed will probably start a fresh round of stimulus tomorrow, announcing a plan to purchase at least $500 billion of long term securities, according to economists surveyed by Bloomberg News.

“It’s the weaker dollar and expectations for the stimulus package,” said Tom Bentz, a broker with BNP Paribas Commodity Futures Inc. in New York. “Half a trillion dollars was supposedly priced in since we rallied from September to October, but people are already anticipating that it could be larger.” Crude for December delivery rose 95 cents to $83.90 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange, the highest settlement price since May 3. Oil has risen 7.4 percent in the past year.

The Fed, meeting in Washington today and tomorrow, is expected to announce a program of securities purchases to spur growth, reduce unemployment and increase inflation, said 53 of 56 economists surveyed by Bloomberg News. The Dollar Index, which tracks the U.S. currency against six major peers, slid 0.7 percent to 76.738 at 3:25 p.m. in New York, the lowest level in two weeks on a closing basis......Read the entire article.

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