Gasoline advanced as increases in durable goods orders and home prices indicated the U.S. economy is strengthening and fuel demand may improve.
Futures rose 0.5 percent as bookings for goods meant to last at least three years rose 5.7 percent in February, boosted by automobiles and a rebound in commercial aircraft, a Commerce Department report showed. Residential real estate prices increased in January by the most since June 2006, indicating the U.S. housing market strengthened at the start of the year.
“All of a sudden, the economy is looking a little better,” said Phil Flynn, senior market analyst at Price Futures Group in Chicago. “People feel richer when the value of their house goes up and increased durable goods orders could mean better demand.”
Gasoline for April delivery rose 1.54 cents to $3.078 a gallon on the New York Mercantile Exchange on volume that was 24 percent below the 100-day average at 9:41 a.m.
May gasoline’s premium over WTI narrowed 16 cents to $33.31 a barrel. The spread versus Brent widened 48 cents to $20.59.
Heating oil for April delivery fell 0.23 cent to $2.8749 a gallon on volume that was 8.8 percent below than the 100-day average.
Gasoline at the pump, averaged nationwide, fell 0.9 cent to $3.658 a gallon, AAA said today on its website. Prices have dropped for the past six days and are 23.9 cents below a year ago.
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