NEW YORK: Oil prices were little changed on Wednesday ahead of the U.S. Federal Reserve’s interest rate decision, with investors uncertain when rates will peak and how that will affect energy demand.
A U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) report showed that a weekly draw in crude stockpiles was in line with analysts estimates.
Brent futures for November delivery fell 11 cents, 0.1%, to $94.23 a barrel by 11:00 a.m. EDT (1500 GMT). U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude for October remained unchanged at $91.20.
The WTI contract for October expires on Wednesday. WTI crude futures for November, which will soon be the U.S. front-month, was up about 2 cents to $90.49.
Investors are awaiting the Fed’s interest rate decision at 2:00 p.m. EDT (1800 GMT) to assess the outlook for economic growth and fuel demand. The Fed is widely expected to keep interest rates on hold, but the focus will be on its projected policy path.
“The oil rally is taking a little break as every trader awaits a pivotal Fed decision that might tilt the scales of whether the U.S. economy has a soft or hard landing,” said Edward Moya, senior market analyst at data and analytics firm OANDA.
The U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) said energy firms pulled 2.1 million barrels from storage during the week ended Sept. 15. That was in line with forecasts from analysts in a Reuters poll who estimated energy firms pulled about 2.2 million barrels of crude stocks last week. It was far below the draw of about 5.3 million barrels reported on Tuesday in preliminary data from the American Petroleum Institute industry group.