Gasoline rose after reports showed the U.S. housing market is strengthening, boosting optimism that fuel demand will improve. Crack spreads widened.
Futures gained as housing starts climbed 6.8 percent in May to a 914,000 annualized rate. Permits to build single-family homes increased 1.3 percent to a 622,000 pace, the fastest in five years. A report yesterday showed the Federal Reserve Bank of New York’s general economic gauge, known as the Empire State index, climbed to 7.8 this month from minus 1.4 in May, signaling future expansion.
“On top of yesterday’s Empire stats, the housing data was positive,” said Gene McGillian, an analyst and broker at Tradition Energy in Stamford, Connecticut. “We continue to get indications that economy is improving.”
Gasoline for July delivery rose 2.13 cents, or 0.8 percent, to $2.8774 a gallon at 10:14 a.m. on the New York Mercantile Exchange. Trading volume was 30 percent below the 100-day average for the time of day.
July gasoline’s crack spread versus West Texas Intermediate widened 50 cents to $22.69 a barrel. Gasoline’s premium over August Brent increased 41 cents to $14.54.
Gasoline at the pump, averaged nationwide, fell 0.4 cent to $3.607 a gallon, Heathrow, Florida-based AAA said today on its website. Prices have fallen for six straight days and are the lowest since May 31. The average price is 10.2 cents above a year earlier.
Ultra-low-sulfur diesel for July delivery rose 1.68 cents, or 0.6 percent, to $2.9671 a gallon on trading volume that was 47 percent below the 100-day average for the time of day.
The July ULSD contract’s crack spread versus WTI added 29 cents to $26.43 a barrel. The premium over Brent rose 21 cents to $18.73.
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