NEW YORK, Sept. 13 (Xinhua) -- Crude prices rose on Thursday after the U.S. Federal Reserve announced a new round of quantitative easing policy to boost the economy after its two-day meeting.
The Federal Open Market Committee, the Fed's policymaking committee, decided to buy agency mortgage-backed securities at a pace of 40 billion U.S. dollars per month until the outlook for U. S. jobs improves.
According to experiences with last two round of quantitative easing, markets analysts thought the new stimulus program would encourage investors to take more risks and to put money into equities and commodities, which will be a great boost to their prices.
FOMC also decided to keep its ultra-low federal funds rate unchanged at least through mid-2015.
Meanwhile, supply risks offered more supports to oil prices as the growing protests in the Middle East and North Africa posed threats to oil production there.
Starting Tuesday, protesters, angered by an alleged U.S.-made movie that they say insults Prophet Mohammed, attacked U.S. embassies in Egypt and Yemen, and demonstrations also broke out in Tunisia, Iran and Iraq. U.S. Ambassador to Libya Chris Stevens and three other diplomats was killed Tuesday night after hundreds of protesters broke into and set ablaze the U.S. consulate building in Benghazi, Libya.
According to statistic from BP, countries in the Middle East and North Africa supply 36 percent of global oil production.
On the economic front, the U.S. Labor Department said earlier the initial jobless claims reached 382,000 in the week ending Sept. 8, with a higher-than-expected rise of 15,000 from the previous week.
The department also reported a 1.7 percent rise in producer prices in August, which was the biggest since June 2009 and mainly caused by higher energy costs.
Light, sweet crude for October delivery gained 1.30 dollars, or 1.34 percent, to settle at 98.31 dollars a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange. In London, Brent crude for October delivery climbed 94 cents, or 0.81 percent, to close at 116.90 dollars a barrel.