Gasoline swung between gains and losses after reports showed U.S. manufacturing expanded in February and consumer confidence rose, indicating demand for motor fuel may improve.
Futures fluctuated after the Thomson Reuters/University of Michigan final index of consumer sentiment advanced to 77.6 from 73.8 in January. The Institute for Supply Management’s factory index rose to 54.2, from 53.1 in January, the Tempe, Arizona- based group said today.
“We bounced on the better-than-expected consumer confidence and manufacturing, and now the market is trying to stabilize on the back of some of the economic data,” said Gene McGillian, an analyst and broker at Tradition Energy in Stamford, Connecticut.
April-delivery gasoline rose 0.16 cent to $3.1133 a gallon at 1:09 p.m. on the New York Mercantile Exchange. Volume was 18 percent above the 100-day average for the time of day. Prices dipped to $3.059 before the reports and then rose as high as $3.1261.
Heating oil for April delivery fell 2.98 cents, or 1 percent, to $2.9305 a gallon. Trading volume was 5.5 percent above the 100-day average.
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