Federal Reserve chairman Jerome Powell said there were risks that prices gains in the United States might persistently undershoot the central bank's inflation target and that the country's labour market was not running hot.
Oil prices fell on Thursday as OPEC forecast slower demand for its crude next year, with crude futures easing from their highest in more than a month after US producers cut about half of their output in the Gulf of Mexico ahead of what could be one of the first major storms of the Atlantic hurricane.
Oil has been rallying since the middle of last week as tensions surrounding Iran stoke concerns crude flows may be disrupted. President Donald Trump vowed Wednesday to impose more sanctions on the Islamic Republic and accused it of violating the nuclear accord that he withdrew from a year ago, while French President Emmanuel Macron is trying to salvage the deal.More news: Gold eases after surprise US CPI jump, holds above $1400
Crude oil and copper futures jumped on Wednesday following a more dovish than expected semiannual testimony from the head of the U.S. central bank before Congress, with the former also boosted by the approach of a tropical storm to the Louisiana coast.
U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures fell 23 cents to settle at $60.20 a barrel, after hitting their highest since May 23 at $60.94. The contract closed at the highest level since May 22 on Wednesday.
Brent crude futures reversed early losses and were up 36 cents, or 0.5%, at $67.37 a barrel by 0643 GMT. Earlier in the session, they hit their highest since May 30 at $67.39, after ending Wednesday up 4.4%.More news: Actress Pooja Batra marries beau Nawab Shah
Iran's alleged attempt to block a British-owned tanker heightened tensions in the Middle East in the wake of attacks on tankers and the downing of US drone by Iran in June. The global benchmark crude traded at a $6.50 premium to WTI for the same month. The worldwide benchmark settled down 0.7 per cent on Thursday after hitting its highest since May 30 at $67.52 a barrel. Chevron said Tuesday it began shutting in five of its platforms in the Gulf and will start evacuating all associated personnel. United States crude stocks fell 9.5 million barrels in the week to July 5, the Energy Information Administration (EIA) said, more than the 3.1 million-barrel draw analysts had expected as refineries ramped up output. Royal Dutch Shell Plc and BP trust additionally evacuated workers. That in comparison with the median estimate in a Bloomberg survey for a 2.9 million-barrel decline.
The situation in the Middle East remained tense. A day after Iran warned Britain would face "consequences" over the seizure of an Iranian oil tanker, three Iranian vessels tried to block passage of a British ship operated by BP through the Strait of Hormuz, the British government said.More news: Duane 'Dog' Chapman Tearfully Shares Beth Chapman's Final Moments