Gasoline Futures Rise After Smaller-Than-Forecast Inventory Gain

Feb 06, 2014 5:02 pm ET

Feb. 6 (Bloomberg) -- Gasoline futures advanced after an Energy Information Administration report yesterday that showed a smaller stockpile gain than analysts expected after winter weather swept the U.S. Northeast last week.

Prices climbed as much as 1.7 percent. Gasoline inventories grew by 505,000 barrels last week, said the EIA, the Energy Department’s statistical arm. Supplies were forecast to increase by 1.15 million, according to the median estimate in a Bloomberg News survey.

“Gasoline may be supported by the fact that the inventory build yesterday was far less than the market anticipated in light of the poor weather,” said Andy Lipow, president of Lipow Oil Associates LLC in Houston.

March-delivery gasoline rose 3.69 cents, or 1.4 percent, to $2.6782 a gallon on trading volume that was 83 percent above the 100-day average at 9:38 a.m.

The motor fuel’s crack spread versus WTI, a rough measure of refining profitability, widened 42 cents to $13.98 a barrel. Its premium to London-traded Brent crude climbed 59 cents to $5.37.

The average U.S. pump price fell 0.2 cent to $3.27 a gallon, according to data from Heathrow, Florida-based AAA. Prices are 27.6 cents below a year ago.

Ultra low sulfur diesel for March delivery rose 1.31 cents, or 0.4 percent, to $3.0099 a gallon on the New York Mercantile Exchange. Trading volume was 19 percent above the 100-day average.

--With assistance from Barbara Powell in Houston. Editors: David Marino, Charlotte Porter