Oil extends gains as Fed keeps stimulus unchanged
Oil prices rose in Asian trade Thursday after the US Federal Reserve's surprise decision to leave its aggressive stimulus programme unchanged.
New York's main contract, West Texas Intermediate for October, added 62 cents to $108.69 a barrel in afternoon trade after surging $2.65 on Wednesday.
Brent North Sea crude for delivery in November rose 30 cents to $110.90 a barrel, after climbing $2.41 the day before.
Markets had expected the US central bank's policy setting Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) to scale down its $85 billion a month bond-buying spree.
But the FOMC said that although the economy appears to be holding up amid government spending cuts, it "decided to await more evidence that progress will be sustained" before deciding to scale down the stimulus package.
"Oil is booming," said Victor Shum, managing director at IHS Purvin and Gertz energy consultancy in Singapore.
"The Fed has decided to continue its monetary stimulus programme, so that has boosted equities and the commodities markets globally, and certainly including oil futures here in Asia," he told AFP.
Data showing a decline in US crude oil stockpiles -- indicating robust demand in the world's biggest economy -- also supported prices, Shum added.
"US crude oil inventories fell more than expected and also gasoline and diesel fuel stocks declined, so and US oil consumption appears to be very strong," he said.
The US Department of Energy said US crude inventories tumbled 4.4 million barrels last week, much more than forecasts of 1.2 million barrels.