March 13 (Bloomberg) -- Gasoline fell as Brent crude weakened versus West Texas Intermediate and the dollar strengthened, reducing the investment appeal of commodities.
Futures dropped 0.3 percent, the third straight decline. The premium of Brent, the pricing basis for gasoline imports, over WTI narrowed $1.11 to $16 a barrel, the smallest difference since Jan. 22. The dollar reached a three-month high against the euro. Gasoline’s crack spread to WTI slipped to the lowest level this month.
“The Brent-WTI spread is coming in a lot and the dollar is higher,” said Phil Flynn, senior market analyst at Price Futures Group in Chicago.
Gasoline for April delivery fell 0.79 cent to settle at $3.1423 a gallon on the New York Mercantile Exchange. Trading volume was 37 percent above the 100-day average for the time of day. The contract is for reformulated gasoline to be blended with ethanol, or RBOB.
Prices touched $3.187 a gallon earlier, just below yesterday’s intraday high of $3.19, before retreating. Crude oil for May delivery on the Nymex touched $93.40 a barrel, near yesterday’s high of $93.47.
“Yesterday’s highs were resistance,” said Gene McGillian, an analyst and broker at Tradition Energy in Stamford, Connecticut.
The Energy Information Administration reported that gasoline inventories fell 3.57 million barrels to 224.3 million in the seven days ended March 8, the lowest level in 11 weeks. Supplies in the East Coast, or PADD 1, slipped 549,000 barrels to 59.9 million. Imports to the region climbed 20 percent to 718,000 barrels a day, the highest level since August.
The April crack spread, or gasoline’s premium over WTI, fell 31 cents to $39.46 a barrel, and widened 80 cents to $23.46 a barrel over Brent oil on the ICE Futures Europe exchange.
Heating oil for April delivery fell 2.42 cents, or 0.8 percent, to settle at $2.9242 a gallon on volume that was 26 percent below the 100-day average for the time of day.
Supplies of distillates, including heating oil and diesel, rose 83,000 barrels to 120.4 million.
Gasoline at the pump, averaged nationwide, rose 0.3 cent to $3.706 a gallon, AAA said today on its website. Prices are 9.9 cents below a year ago.
--Editors: David Marino, Charlotte Porter