Diesel Rises for First Time in Three Days on Unemployment Report

May 02, 2014 3:29 pm ET

May 2 (Bloomberg) -- Diesel climbed for the first time in three days in New York after a government report showed U.S. unemployment declined to the lowest level since 2008, signaling greater economic growth and demand for the trucking fuel.

The jobless rate dropped to 6.3 percent while employers boosted payrolls by 288,000 in April, the most since January 2012, Labor Department figures showed today in Washington.

“Positive unemployment reports indicate we might see a great demand for diesel,” said Tom Finlon, director of Energy Analytics Group Ltd., in Jupiter, Florida. “Also, the market has been beaten up this week so we’re probably also seeing a little bit of reversal.”

Ultra low sulfur diesel futures for June delivery rose 0.83 cent, or 0.3 percent, to settle at $2.9223 a gallon on the New York Mercantile Exchange on volume that was 23 percent below the 100-day average at 3:20 p.m. Futures fell 2.2 percent this week.

The fuel’s crack spread versus West Texas Intermediate oil gained 1 cent to $22.98 a barrel, while the premium to European benchmark Brent oil declined 48 cents to $14.15 a barrel.

June-delivery gasoline futures rose 0.57 cent to $2.9445 a gallon. Volume was 27 percent above the 100-day average. Futures posted a weekly decline of 4.2 percent.

The motor fuel’s crack spread versus WTI slipped 10 cents to $23.91 a barrel. The premium to Brent crude dropped 59 cents to $15.08.

Retail gasoline prices in the U.S., averaged nationwide, dropped 0.04 cent to $3.683 a gallon, a fourth consecutive decline, according to Heathrow, Florida-based AAA. Prices are 15.8 cents higher than a year ago.