Bloomberg News

Gasoline Advances Amid Speculation European Debt Crisis Easing

October 21, 2011

Oct. 21 (Bloomberg) -- Gasoline rose, following crude oil higher, as European leaders prepare for weekend talks on bolstering a rescue fund to ease the region’s debt crisis.

Futures advanced a second day as nations in the European Union prepare for a six-day meeting on how to save Greece from default, shield banks from the fallout and build more powerful defenses against the debt crisis.

“Gasoline is up on optimism from the European Union that over the weekend they will come to some resolution of restructuring,” said Andy Lipow, president of Lipow Oil Associates in Houston. “For last couple of weeks we’ve seen the markets fluctuate on sentiment on whether they will resolve their problems or they won’t.”

Gasoline for November delivery rose 0.91 cent to settle at $2.6846 a gallon on the New York Mercantile Exchange. Prices sank 5 percent this week.

December-delivery crude on Nymex gained $1.33 to settle at $87.40 a barrel.

Gasoline and heating-oil futures pared increases after Brent crude on the ICE Futures Europe exchange reversed earlier gains of as much as 1.9 percent. December-settlement Brent fell 20 cents to $109.56.

Demand for gasoline declined last week while production jumped 4.5 percent to a five-week high of 9.31 million barrels a day, according to Energy Department data.

Gasoline imports in the U.S. East Coast may decrease as BP Plc is likely to miss an expected start date for a crude unit at Europe’s second-largest refinery. Start-up of the unit at the unit at the Rotterdam refinery, expected at the end of October, may be delayed at least a week, according to two people with knowledge of the matter.

European Inventories

Lower European fuel inventories may also limit imports. Gasoline stockpiles in independent storage in Europe’s Amsterdam-Rotterdam-Antwerp oil-trading hub fell 5 percent last week to 575,000 tons, according to PJK International BV.

November-delivery heating oil slipped 1.26 cents, or 0.4 percent, to settle at $3.0175 a gallon on the Nymex. Prices were down 1.3 percent this week.

Heating demand is forecast to trail normal by 21 percent for the next in the U.S. Northeast, according to Belton, Missouri-based forecaster Weather Derivatives. The Northeast is the biggest consuming region for heating oil.

Regular gasoline at the pump, averaged nationwide, fell 0.6 cent to $3.468 a gallon yesterday, according to AAA data.

--With assistance from Barbara J Powell in Dallas. Editors: David Marino, Richard Stubbe

To contact the reporter on this story: Gene Laverty in Calgary at glaverty@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Dan Stets at dstets@bloomberg.net


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