Oil prices down after Fed interest-rate hints

Brent crude prices drop as U.S. Federal Reserve hints at interest-rate hike and easing tensions between Russia and West over Crimea.

Brent crude prices drop as U.S. Federal Reserve hints at interest-rate hike and easing tensions between Russia and West over Crimea.

ISTANBUL - Brent crude oil prices have dropped to their lowest level in four months due to hints that the U.S. Federal Reserve could hike interest rates amid easing acute tensions over Crimea.

Brent crude oil prices started Wednesday at US$106.53; after the U.S. decision, they came down to US$105.79. Today it came to US$105.38, the lowest in four months.

Currently, it is trading at around US$106 a barrel; the price of U.S. West Texas crude oil dipped under to US$99 a barrel and closed at US$99.33 a barrel on Wednesday. It is currently trading around US$99.2 a barrel.

According to American Petroleum Institute data, U.S. crude stocks rose last week by 5.9 million barrels.

On Wednesday, the Federal Open Market Committee announced a third US$10 billion reduction to its stimulus program, reducing its monthly bond purchases to US$55 billion – which started down from US$85 billion.

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