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Crude oil traded near the highest level in more than a week after Federal Reserve Chairman Ben S. Bernanke said that while further stimulus is unlikely, central banks “remain prepared to do more” to protect the economy.
Futures were little changed, paring an earlier gain after more Americans than forecast filed applications for unemployment benefits last week. Economic growth is expected to “remain moderate over coming quarters and then to pick up gradually,” the Federal Open Market Committee said in a statement. U.S. crude supplies gained more than estimated last week, and Iran’s envoy in Moscow said his country may halt the expansion of its atomic program to avert new Western sanctions.
“Bernanke will do something if things don’t get better,” said Hakan Kocayusufpasaoglu, chief investment officer at Archbridge Capital in Zug, Switzerland. “And when Bernanke says he’ll do whatever it takes to get the economic growth rate improving, that means the economic trajectory rises and oil demand increases over time. And his methods for doing something increase money supply, causing the dollar to depreciate and that lifts all commodities”
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