Gasoline Gains as Central Banks Raise Liquidity, U.S. Adds Jobs
Gasoline rose after central banks led by the Federal Reserve cut emergency dollar funding costs to European banks to ease the region’s debt crisis and as the U.S. added jobs.
Prices gained as the central banks’ move boosted equities and the dollar fell, increasing the investment appeal of commodities. U.S. companies added 206,000 workers in November, reducing concern that unemployment will remain elevated, curbing fuel use. The Energy Department reported that gasoline demand climbed last week.
“The bigger impact was the coordinated action of the central banks to reduce the dollar lending rates, sending stocks higher and oil prices with it,” said Andy Lipow, president of Lipow Oil Associates LLC in Houston. “Underpinning that is an increase in the amount of jobs that were created.”
Gasoline for December delivery gained 3.67 cents, or 1.5 percent, to $2.5758 a gallon at 11:47 a.m. on the New York Mercantile Exchange. The more-actively traded January contract advanced 3.85 cents, or 1.5 percent, to $2.5783.
December gasoline and heating oil contracts will expire at the end of floor trading today.
Gasoline demand, or deliveries to wholesalers, rose 2.1 percent in the week ended Nov. 25 to 8.77 million barrels a day, the most since the week ended Oct. 7, today’s report showed. Gasoline production fell 3 percent to 9.19 million barrels a day. Inventories increased 213,000 barrels.
“It was Thanksgiving week and people were driving,” said Sander Cohan, an analyst with Energy Security Analysis Inc. in Wakefield, Massachusetts. “Production cutting back is bullish.”
The central banks of the U.S., the euro region, Canada, the U.K., Japan and Switzerland agreed to cut the cost of providing dollar funding via swap arrangements, the Federal Reserve said in a statement.
Futures rose a third consecutive day after the banks’ move, which is aimed at easing financial market strains and boosting the central banks’ capacity to support the global financial system, the statement said.
The euro gained 1.1 percent against the dollar at 11:49 a.m. in New York while the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index (SPX) added 3.6 percent.
“The market likes the news because it’s a glimmer of good news in a torrential downpour of bad news. But it’s done for a reason and the reason they did it is not good,” said Ray Carbone, president of Paramount Options Inc. in New York.
The 206,000 increase in jobs was the biggest this year and followed a revised 130,000 gain in October, ADP Employer Services said today. Planned firings dropped 13 percent to 42,474 from November 2010, according to figures released today by Chicago-based Challenger, Gray & Christmas Inc.
The jobs reports are “constructive, optimistic kind of news and that helped the rally,” Carbone said.
Heating oil fluctuated, reducing an earlier gain, after the department reported that distillate stockpiles surged 5.53 million barrels last week to 138.5 million, the biggest gain since January 2009. Demand plunged 20 percent to 3.24 million barrels a day, the lowest since Aug. 2009.
Refiners increased heating oil and diesel fuel production 1.2 percent to a record 4.83 million barrels a day. Exports remained at a record high 948,000 barrels a day, based on preliminary weekly reports.
The market “thinks this is bearish, but we had a great Thanksgiving shopping season and export demand is really strong,” Cohan said.
December-delivery heating oil gained 0.44 cent to $3.0255 a gallon, after touching $3.0536 before the inventory report’s 10:30 a.m. release in Washington. The January contract rose 0.66 cent to $3.0402.
Regular gasoline at the pump, averaged nationwide, was unchanged at $3.295 a gallon yesterday, according to AAA data.
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