Crude oil prices were up to begin Thursday on a higher note after the U.S. Federal Reserve put the brakes on further increases in interest rates for now, causing the American dollar to slip.
Brent crude was trading at $62.10 per barrel at 0655 GMT with a 0.7 percent gain after closing Wednesday at $61.67 a barrel.
American crude West Texas Intermediate was at $54.63 at the same time, a 0.2 percent daily increase, after ending the previous session at $54.49 per barrel.
The U.S. Federal Reserve kept its benchmark interest rate unchanged as expected on Wednesday, but removed the text that said "further gradual increases" in interest rates from its January statement that were present in its December statement.
The Fed Chairman Jerome Powell adopted a dovish outlook for possible rate hikes in the future during his press conference after the conclusion of the central bank's two-day meeting, which started on Monday, Jan. 28 in Washington, D.C.
"The case for raising rates has weakened somewhat," Powell said, due to slower growth in American economy and muted inflation.
The Fed's current interest rate target, which stands at 2.25 percent to 2.5 percent, is "appropriate for the state of the economy," he said, adding that the bank will be "patient" before deciding its next move.
With Powell's dovish outlook and an indication that the Fed will put the brakes on further rate hikes, the value of the American dollar plummeted late Wednesday against other major currencies.
The U.S. dollar index, which includes the euro, Japanese yen, British pound, Canadian dollar, Swedish krona and Swiss franc, fell 0.41 percent on Wednesday. The index was down almost 0.2 percent at 0655 GMT on Thursday.
A decline in the American dollar, to which crude oil prices are indexed, encourages oil demand globally, which in turn pushes crude prices higher.
By Ovunc Kutlu