Fed promise to print money sends oil, equities soaring

SINGAPORE, August 10, 2011 (AFP) – Crude futures soared in Asian trade Wednesday, mirroring Asian equities markets encouraged by the US Federal Reserve’s two-year commitment to keep interest rates low, analysts said.

Growth was also expected to be at a “somewhat slower pace” over the coming quarters, the Fed’s Open Market Committee added, as “downside risks to the economic outlook have increased.”

The Fed’s interest rate commitment cheered markets, which had been spooked by rating agency Standard & Poor’s downgrade of US credit last week, resulting in a slump in global equities markets as well as crude oil prices. New York’s main contract, light sweet crude for delivery in September, gained $1.72 to $81.02 per barrel.

Brent North Sea crude for September delivery added $1.84 to $104.41.

A rally by Asian equities markets early Wednesday hours after the US Federal Reserve pledged to hold interest rates at near zero for two more years was spurring crude prices, said Victor Shum, senior principal of Purvin and Gertz energy consultants in Singapore.

“The indication about keeping interest rates low for two more years helped the relief rally that we are seeing in equities and that has also caused buy