Obama

Brent crude remained steady today, following reaffirmation from US Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke on his commitment to strong stimulus measures for reviving the economy.

Brent crude was steady at 11 cents and $111.76 a barrel, while US oil increased by three cents to $92.79, reported Reuters.

Nearly $85bn is expected to be deducted from the US budget, beginning on Friday, as The White House and Republicans have not yet reached a deal to prevent it.

According to the US President Barack Obama, the budget cut will take away at least 0.6% points off economic growth.

On Wednesday, US Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke, facing a congressional panel, said that it is likely to take another three years before the US jobless rate drops to six percent, the top of the Fed’s long-term forecast range, from 7.9% currently.

Bernanke’s statement means the US central bank can preserve its current bond-buying strategy to support the country’s economy.

Regardless of his reaffirmation, investors are still watchful over the prospect of a significant rise in demand from the US, the world’s top oil consumer, while its inventories of crude oil increased for a sixth straight week last week.

Demand for riskier assets, such as oil, equities and other commodities, received support as a result of a strong demand for Italian debt that managed to comfort the concerns caused by its political impasse.

On the other hand, lingering tensions over Iran’s controversial nuclear programme have supported prices.

On Wednesday, the two-day talks between Iran and six world powers, including the US, France, Russia, Britain, Germany and China, concluded with an accord to meet again in Istanbul in March.


Image: US President Barack Obama. Photo courtesy of Elizabeth Cromwell.

Energy