Economy- Crude-Oil Prices Settle Lower, Gasoline at Four-Month High –

Posted: July 17, 2013 in Uncategorized

July 16, 2013

NEW YORK—Crude-oil futures settled lower Tuesday, while gasoline futures rallied to a four-month high due to refinery outages.

Light, sweet crude for August delivery settled 32 cents, or 0.3%, lower at $106 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange. ICE North Sea Brent crude oil for August delivery, which expired at the close of trading, settled 31 cents higher at $109.40 a barrel.

While oil prices snapped a two-session gain, edging lower along with broader markets, gasoline futures rose Tuesday. Analysts attributed the move to a series of refinery outages, which tightened gasoline supplies during the peak summer driving season.

Traders and brokers doing business with Irving Oil on Monday said Canada’s largest independent refinery was forced to buy RBOB in the New York Harbor spot market for more than a week due to gasoline production problems. Meanwhile, planned maintenance continued at Phillips 66’s PSX +0.90% Bayway refinery in Linden, N.J., spokesman Rich Johnson said.

The outages sent front-month August gasoline futures to their highest level since March 15, settling 3.14 cents higher at $3.1343 a gallon. The gains come on the heels of a sharp rally in gasoline last week, which was also driven by refinery glitches.

Later this week, oil traders will turn to the U.S. Energy Information Administration’s weekly report on domestic oil inventories, with analysts expecting a third consecutive week of declines.

U.S. crude-oil inventories will show a decline of 2.2 million barrels in the week ended July 12, according to a survey of analysts by Dow Jones Newswires. Gasoline stocks are expected to fall by 400,000 barrels and distillate stocks, which include heating oil and diesel fuel, are forecast to rise by 1.7 million barrels. The survey estimated that refiners cut operations by 0.4 percentage point to 92% of capacity.

Additionally, the market is closely watching Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke’s congressional testimony on the state of the U.S. economy. They will look for indications of a clearer timeline on when the Fed will begin curtailing its stimulus efforts that have so far boosted economic growth in the U.S., the world’s largest oil consumer.

“Broader markets are drifting a little lower. Crude is also having a quiet trading day with a couple of tumultuous days ahead,” said Matt Smith, commodity analyst at energy-consulting firm Schneider Electric SU.FR +2.64% .

Separately, the American Petroleum Institute, an industry group, said in its own survey late Tuesday that U.S. crude oil stockpiles fell by 2.6 million barrels last week. Gasoline stockpiles rose by 2.553 million barrels and stocks of distillate increased by 3.821 million barrels. Refinery runs increased to 92.5% from 92.1%, the API said.

August heating oil settled 2.08 cents higher at $3.0469 a gallon.

via Crude-Oil Prices Settle Lower, Gasoline at Four-Month High –


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