Dec. 2 (Bloomberg) -- Gasoline followed crude futures higher as stronger manufacturing data from China, the U.S. and Europe boosted speculation fuel demand may improve.
Prices rose as Chinese and U.S. manufacturing growth beat analyst forecasts for November. Euro-area factory output expanded more than initially estimated last month, led by the currency bloc’s two largest economies, Germany and France. Gains widened as Brent crude in London climbed versus West Texas Intermediate.
“Good manufacturing data is indicative of a slowly growing global economy and we will see oil demand continue to grow,” said Andy Lipow, president of Lipow Oil Associates LLC in Houston.
Gasoline for January delivery advanced 1.56 cents, or 0.6 percent, to settle at $2.6784 a gallon on the New York Mercantile Exchange. Trading volume was 4.2 percent below the 100-day average as of 2:38 p.m.
“Everything is being pulled up by Brent,” said Joe Posillico, senior vice president of energy derivatives at Jefferies Bache LLC in New York.
Brent for January settlement on the ICE Futures Europe exchange rose $1.76, or 1.6 percent, to $111.45 a barrel. Brent’s premium to WTI advanced 66 cents to $17.63.
“The last few dollars in the Brent move have come from unwinding of the WTI-Brent spread trade,” said Amrita Sen, chief oil market strategist at Energy Aspects Ltd., a research company in London.
The Institute for Supply Management’s factory index rose to 57.3 in November from 56.4 a month earlier, the Tempe, Arizona- based group’s report showed today. Manufacturing accounts for about 12 percent of the economy.
China’s Purchasing Managers’ Index was 51.4, the National Bureau of Statistics and China Federation of Logistics and Purchasing said yesterday, exceeding 24 out of 26 estimates in a Bloomberg survey.
The Euro-area manufacturing index survey, which tracks sentiment among purchasing managers, rose to 51.6 from 51.3 in October, London-based Markit Economics said today, above Markit’s initial estimate of 51.5.
“Stronger manufacturing data from China and the EU offers a little optimism for demand,” said Phil Flynn, senior market analyst at Price Futures Group in Chicago.
Gasoline’s crack spread versus WTI, a rough measure of refining profitability, narrowed 44 cents to $18.67 a barrel. The fuel’s premium to European benchmark Brent fell $1.10 to $1.04 a barrel.
The average U.S. pump price fell 0.4 cent to $3.268 a gallon, the fifth consecutive decline, Heathrow, Florida-based AAA said today.
Ultra low sulfur diesel for January delivery rose 1.93 cents, or 0.6 percent, to settle at $3.0501 a gallon, a seven- week high. Volume was 11 percent above the 100-day average.
ULSD’s premium over WTI narrowed 29 cents to $34.28 a barrel. The crack spread versus Brent fell 95 cents to $16.65.
--With assistance from Michelle Jamrisko in Washington. Editors: David Marino, Bill Banker