Bloomberg News

Gasoline Follows Crude Lower as Economic Data Dims Demand View

May 01, 2013

Gasoline fell along with crude as weaker manufacturing growth in China boosted concern that global energy demand may slow. Crack spreads narrowed.

Futures sank as much as 2.6 percent. Chinese and Australian reports today signaled a slowdown in manufacturing as a U.K. Purchasing Managers’ Index showed a third month of contraction. ADP Research Institute said U.S. companies added 119,000 workers to payrolls in April, less than the median forecast of 150,000 jobs. The Energy Department will release weekly stockpiles data at 10:30 a.m. East Coast time.

“The China PMI data was disappointing,” said Dominick Chirichella, senior partner at the Energy Management Institute in New York. “It’s just a continuation what we’ve been seeing in the last four to six weeks. Every macroeconomic data point is suggesting a slowing global economy.”

Gasoline for June delivery slipped 7.12 cents, or 2.5 percent, to $2.7308 a gallon at 9:51 a.m. on the New York Mercantile Exchange on volume that was 18 percent below the 100- day average.

The fuel’s premium over June West Texas Intermediate slipped 49 cents to $23.73 a barrel. The spread to Brent weakened 59 cents to $14.72.

Ultra-low-sulfur diesel for June delivery dropped 4.61 cents, or 1.6 percent, to $2.7935 a gallon on the Nymex. Trading volume was 26 percent above the 100-day average.

The fuel’s crack spread versus June West Texas Intermediate crude grew 54 cents to $26.34 a barrel. The spread versus Brent gained 47 cents to $17.36.

Distillate inventories in the U.S., including diesel and heating oil, may have increased 250,000 barrels last week, according to the median of 11 analyst estimates in a survey compiled by Bloomberg. Gasoline supplies probably decreased 900,000 barrels, the survey showed.

Gasoline at the pump, averaged nationwide, rose 1.4 cents to $3.522 a gallon, AAA said on its website today. It’s the largest single-day increase since Feb. 19.

To contact the reporter on this story: Dan Murtaugh in Houston at dmurtaugh@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Dan Stets at dstets@bloomberg.net


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