Oil prices remained relatively unchanged on Wednesday as investors await the Federal Reserve’s latest interest rate policy decision. West Texas Intermediate, the U.S. benchmark, held steady at $79 per barrel after gaining 1.3% on Tuesday.
Although another interest rate hike from the Federal Reserve is expected, this time the increase is expected to be just 25 basis points, marking the second consecutive month that the central bank has shrunk its increases. This move is widely expected as signs indicating a cooldown in U.S. inflation continues to emerge.
Norbert Ruecker, an analyst at Julius Baer, supports this notion, explaining: “The established trends point at continued, tepid fundamental easing. The improved market mood has lifted prices of late, but this support should remain temporary.”
In addition to the Federal Reserve’s latest moves, traders are also keeping a close eye on the actions of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries. The body has scheduled an output policy meeting on Wednesday, with investors awaiting the results with just days to go until a fresh round of sanctions against Russian energy is launched.