Gasoline Slips as U.S. Economy Growth Slower Than Expected

Gasoline slipped along with crude as the U.S. economy grew less than expected in the first quarter and traders cashed in on prices rising 3.4 percent in the past two days. Crack spreads widened.

Futures fell as much as 0.9 percent. The fuel’s premium over June West Texas Intermediate increased 5 cents to $24.46 a barrel, while the spread versus Brent gained 9 cents to $14.73. The Commerce Department reported gross domestic product rose 2.5 percent in the first quarter, below the 3 percent gain predicted by economists surveyed by Bloomberg.

“There’s a little bit of profit-taking going on here, and a little bit of concern over the GDP,” said Carl Larry, president of Oil Outlooks & Opinions LLC in Houston. “People are trying to take profits and extend their weekends as the weather’s getting warmer. Spring fever’s getting hot, everyone wants to get out of the office.”

Gasoline for May delivery fell 0.55 cent to $2.8063 a gallon at 10:01 a.m. on the New York Mercantile Exchange on volume that was 46 percent above the 100-day average for the time of day.

Gasoline at the pump, averaged nationwide, fell 0.7 cent to $3.505 a gallon, AAA said on its website today. It’s the lowest price since Feb. 1.

Ultra-low-sulfur diesel for May delivery gained 1.37 cents, or 0.5 percent, to $2.9154 a gallon on the Nymex. Trading volume was 33 percent above the 100-day average.

ULSD’s crack spread versus June West Texas Intermediate crude gained 14 cents to $27.45 a barrel. The spread versus Brent increased 20 cents to $17.74.

To contact the reporter on this story: Dan Murtaugh in Houston at dmurtaugh@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Dan Stets at dstets@bloomberg.net

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