Oil futures finished higher on Wednesday after the U.S. Federal Reserve announced plans to speed up its reduction of monthly bond purchases and signaled three interest-rate hikes next year, instead of one. Oil was initially trading lower as concerns that the omicron variant of the coronavirus will slow energy demand outweighed support from data showing a bigger-than-expected weekly decline in U.S. crude supplies. The Fed statement suggested that the central bank is "going to be more hawkish than the market originally anticipated," said Phil Flynn, senior market analyst at The Price Futures Group. U.S. benchmark stock indexes "firmed up" following the news, as did oil prices, said Tariq Zahir, managing member at Tyche Capital Advisors. January West Texas Intermediate crude rose 14 cents, or 0.2%, to settle at $70.87 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange after spending part of the session trading below the $70 mark.