Gasoline fell on concern that economic growth may slow as European leaders disagreed on how Greece would repay its debt and a budget showdown loomed in Washington between President Barack Obama and House Republicans.
Futures slid a second day as euro-area finance ministers put off until Nov. 20 a decision on financing Greek debt. Obama will meet tomorrow with corporate executives on his plan to impose higher taxes on the wealthy to cut the deficit and avoid the so-called fiscal cliff and risking another recession.
“A lot of people are nervous and avoiding risk,” said Phil Flynn, senior market analyst at Price Futures Group in Chicago. “There’s uncertainty over Greece. And no doubt, the prospect of the fiscal cliff is making us nervous as well.”
Gasoline for December delivery fell 3.86 cents, or 1.4 percent, to $2.6377 a gallon at 9:36 a.m. on the New York Mercantile Exchange.
Obama is counting on support from executives such as General Electric Chief Executive Officer Jeffrey Immelt to pressure lawmakers to make a deal before January when $607 billion in automatic tax hikes and spending take effect.
U.S. gasoline inventories probably rose 800,000 barrels last week, according to the median estimate of seven analysts in a Bloomberg survey. The Energy Department will report last week’s inventories on Nov. 15, a day later than usual because of the Veteran’s Day federal holiday yesterday.
MasterCard Inc. (MA:US) may say in its SpendingPulse report today that retail demand failed to recover last week because of continued supply disruptions on the East Coast, John Gamel, a gasoline analyst and director of economic analysis for SpendingPulse, said in an interview Nov. 9.
Gasoline demand sank 2.4 percent in the week ended Nov. 2 to an eight-month low and might have fallen more, except the seven days covered in the report included the weekend before the storm, when drivers were filling their tanks, Gamel said.
The U.S. Thanksgiving holiday is Nov. 22. AAA, the largest U.S. motoring organization, will release its projections at 10:45 a.m. in Washington for travel during the four-day holiday period, which begins Nov. 21.
The average nationwide cost for regular gasoline rose 0.3 cent to $3.440 a gallon, AAA said today on its website. Since Oct. 7, prices are down 37.8 cents. The pump price reached a 2012 high of $3.936 on April 4.
December-delivery heating oil declined 4.06 cents, or 1.4 percent, to $2.9586 a gallon on the exchange. Supplies of distillates, including diesel and heating oil, probably fell 500,000 barrels last week, according to the survey.
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