Gasoline advanced along with crude oil as Cyprus met conditions to obtain a bailout, reducing concerns that Europe’s debt crisis would worsen. May crack spreads widened for the first time in three days.
Futures rose 1.6 percent and West Texas Intermediate crude touched the highest level since Feb. 20. Cyprus reached an agreement with creditors on an international bailout, avoiding a default and exit from the euro. May gasoline’s premium over WTI grew 18 cents to $34.62 a barrel, and the spread versus Brent increased 71 cents to $21.20.
“This just removes some of the fear there would be a default in Europe,” said Gene McGillian, an analyst and broker at Tradition Energy in Stamford, Connecticut.
Gasoline for April delivery rose 4.85 cents to $3.111 a gallon at 10:09 a.m. on the New York Mercantile Exchange. Trading volume was 30 percent below the 100-day average for the time of day.
Crude oil for May delivery on the Nymex advanced $1.92, or 2.1 percent, to $95.63 a barrel.
Cyprus, the euro area’s third-smallest economy, is the fifth country to tap international aid since the region’s debt crisis broke out in Greece in 2009.
“The market is relieved that a solution was found to the Cyprus crisis,” said Andy Lipow, president of Lipow Oil Associates LLC in Houston.
Heating oil for April delivery gained 4.01 cents, or 1.4 percent, to $2.9244 a gallon on volume that was 33 percent below than the 100-day average.
Gasoline at the pump, averaged nationwide, fell 0.4 cent to $3.667 a gallon, AAA said today on its website. Prices are the lowest since Feb. 14 and are 22.7 cents below a year ago.
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