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Gasoline Slides as Jobs Report Ignites Concern Demand Will Fall

Gasoline declined after U.S. payrolls increased less than expected last month, indicating the labor market is struggling and fuel-demand growth may slow.

Futures fell as much as 1.3 percent. The Labor Department reported that payrolls rose by 162,000 and revised June’s estimate of job gains to 188,000 from 195,000. Workers spent fewer hours at their jobs and hourly wages slipped for the first time since October. The labor force as a share of the population fell to 63.4 percent from 63.5 percent.

“The market was disappointed in the amount of jobs that were created and the fact that the labor market pool-participation rate fell as well as earnings,” said Andy Lipow, president of Lipow Oil Associates LLC in Houston. “This could mean the consumer will have less money to spend.”

Gasoline for September delivery declined 3.14 cents, or 1 percent, to $2.997 a gallon at 9:45 a.m. on the New York Mercantile Exchange. Trading volume was 33 percent below the 100-day average. Prices are down 1.6 percent this week.

July job gains were the smallest in four months. The median forecast of 93 economists surveyed by Bloomberg called for a 185,000 increase. Average hourly earnings fell 0.1 percent to $23.98 from the prior month. The average work week slipped to 34.4 hours from 34.5 hours.

“It comes down to jobs and income and neither one is good,” said Stephen Schork, president of the Schork Group Inc., an energy advisory company in Villanova, Pennsylvania.

Gasoline’s crack spread versus West Texas Intermediate crude fell 43 cents to $18.87 a barrel. Gasoline’s premium over Brent narrowed 62 cents to $17.03.

Pump Prices

Pump prices, averaged nationwide, slipped 0.4 cent to $3.626 a gallon, Heathrow, Florida-based AAA said today on its website. Prices are 9.2 cents higher than a year ago.

Ultra-low-sulfur diesel for September delivery declined 2.61 cents, or 0.8 percent, to $3.0705 a gallon on trading volume that was 41 percent below the 100-day average. Prices are up 2 percent this week.

ULSD’s crack spread versus West Texas Intermediate crude was little changed at $22.16 a barrel. The premium over Brent fell 18 cents to $20.34.

To contact the reporter on this story: Barbara Powell in Dallas at bpowell4@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Bill Banker at bbanker@bloomberg.net

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