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Oil pared gains after Federal Reserve Chairman Ben S. Bernanke didn’t announce new stimulus measures at a speech in Jackson Hole, Wyoming.
Oil trimmed an early rally as Bernanke said he wouldn’t rule out further bond purchases to boost growth and reduce unemployment, which he called a “grave concern.” The euro pared an advance to an eight-week high against the dollar.
Bernanke spoke at the Kansas City Fed’s annual economic- policy conference in Jackson Hole.
Fed policy makers had said they are prepared to provide new stimulus “fairly soon” unless there is evidence of “substantial and sustainable” improvement in the recovery, according to the minutes of the Federal Open Market Committee meeting that ended Aug. 1. The group plans to meet again in September.
The central bank bought a total of $2.3 trillion in bonds from December 2008 to June 2011 to stimulate the economy in two rounds of asset purchases known as quantitative easing.
Oil for October delivery increased $1.23, or 1.3 percent, to $95.85 a barrel at 10:20 a.m. on the New York Mercantile Exchange. Prices are down 0.3 percent this week and 8.8 percent this month. Futures touched $96.68 before Bernanke’s speech.
Brent oil for October settlement rose 88 cents, or 0.8 percent, to $113.53 a barrel on the London-based ICE Futures Europe exchange.
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