Gasoline gained as optimism that the Greek debt crisis will subside weakened the dollar, increasing the investment appeal of commodities.
Futures advanced a fourth day as the U.S. currency lost 0.6 percent versus the euro at 2:54 p.m. in New York after Greek lawmakers authorized an austerity plan to draw more international monetary aid. A measure of U.S. business activity improved and consumer confidence reached a 10-week high, indicating better fuel demand for the July 4 holiday weekend.
“The alarm on Greece has subsided and we’re getting some decent economic numbers,” said Fred Rigolini, vice president of Paramount Options Inc. in New York. “We’re getting some good follow-through from yesterday’s gains, particularly for gasoline ahead of the holiday weekend.”
Gasoline for July delivery rose 2.19 cents, or 0.7 percent, to settle at $3.0316 a gallon on the New York Mercantile Exchange, a two-week high. July gasoline and heating futures expired today. Prices sank 3.8 percent this month and 2.4 percent in the quarter.
The more actively traded August contract added 3.43 cents, or 1.2 percent, to settle at $2.9692.
“It’s the end of the month, the end of quarter, a lot of people are going to be out of town tomorrow and people typically don’t want to be short going into a holiday weekend,” said Mark Anderle, a trader at Truman Arnold Cos., a wholesaler in Texarkana, Texas.
Euro-area finance ministers are set to approve the next aid payment for Greece and outline a second rescue after banks lined up behind debt-rollover plans and Greek lawmakers approved a budget-cutting package.
The Institute for Supply Management-Chicago Inc. said today its business barometer rose to 61.1 in June from 56.6 a month earlier. Figures greater than 50 signal expansion.
The Bloomberg Consumer Comfort Index increased to minus 43.9 for the period ended June 26 after dropping to minus 44.9 the prior week.
The Energy Department reported yesterday that U.S. gasoline supplies fell unexpectedly last week and imports sank to the lowest level in 15 weeks.
“The inventory draw was bullish,” said Phil Flynn, vice president of research at PFGBest in Chicago.
Regular gasoline at the pump fell 0.2 cent to $3.541 a gallon yesterday, according to AAA data.
Heating oil for July delivery rose 1.25 cents, or 0.4 percent, to settle at $2.9327 a gallon on the exchange. The more actively traded August contract rose 1.16 cents to $2.9463.
Prices dipped 4 percent this month and 5.1 percent in the quarter.
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