Gasoline followed crude oil lower as Iran expects to resume talks later this month with world powers over its nuclear program, easing concerns that Mideast oil production would be disrupted.
Futures fell as discussions will be held Feb. 25 in Kazakhstan, Iran Foreign Minister Ali Akbar Salehi said. The meeting would be the first talks since the breakdown last June of negotiations between Iran and the so-called P5+1, which includes the U.S., China, France, Germany, Russia and the U.K. The U.S. and Israel say Iran is pursuing atomic weapons.
“The entire market is under pressure with the announcement that Iran is going to meet with members of the P5+1,” said Andy Lipow, president of Lipow Oil Associates LLC in Houston. “The market is viewing it as a step to resolve the disagreement over Iran’s nuclear program.”
Gasoline for March delivery declined 3.64 cents, or 1.2 percent, to $3.0172 a gallon at 9:53 a.m. on the New York Mercantile Exchange. Futures fell the most since Jan. 15. on volume that was 10 percent below the 100-day average for the time of day.
West Texas Intermediate oil for March settlement slipped $1.40 to $97.37 a barrel on the Nymex and the March Brent contract fell 93 cents to $115.83 a barrel on the London-based ICE Futures Europe exchange.
Heating oil for March delivery declined 1.23 cents, or 0.4 percent, to $3.1483 a gallon on the Nymex. Volume was 10 percent above the 100-day average for the time of day.
The retail price for regular gasoline, averaged nationwide, rose 0.9 cent to $3.523 a gallon, the highest level since Oct. 29 said today on its website. Prices have climbed 7 percent this year and are 1.4 percent more than a year ago.
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