Gasoline rose as the U.S. added more workers than expected in January, sending the jobless rate down to the lowest level in almost three years and boosting speculation that fuel demand will improve.
Futures advanced as much as 2 percent after Labor Department figures showed the 243,000 increase in payrolls was the most since April and exceeded all forecasts in a Bloomberg News survey. The unemployment rate dropped to 8.3 percent, the lowest since February 2009.
“It is a positive sign for the economy,” said Jacob Correll, a commodity analyst at Summit Energy Inc. in Louisville, Kentucky. “There are a lot of indications that we might be recovering slightly more quickly than anticipated, that’s the reason we are seeing the gasoline bounce.”
Gasoline for March delivery rose 5.16 cents, or 1.8 percent, to $2.9205 at 9:30 a.m. on the New York Mercantile Exchange. Prices touched $2.9259.
March-delivery heating oil gained 4.86 cents, or 1.6 percent, to $3.1015 a gallon on the exchange.
Regular gasoline at the pump, averaged nationwide, rose 1.2 cents to $3.467 yesterday, according to AAA data. Prices were 11 percent above a year earlier.
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