Gasoline Falls as Consumer Confidence Drops Sixth Straight Week

Gasoline fell for the fifth time in six days as consumer confidence in the U.S. sank for the sixth week in a row and jobless claims were higher than forecast.

Futures slipped as the Bloomberg Consumer Comfort Index (COMFCOMF) declined to minus 37.9 in the week ended Nov. 3, the worst reading since October 2012, from minus 37.6 the previous week. Jobless claims decreased by 9,000 to 336,000 in the week ended Nov. 2. The median forecast of 53 economists surveyed by Bloomberg called for a drop to 335,000.

“Products are probably feeling the sting of jobless claims not improving,” said Carl Larry, president of Oil Outlooks & Opinions LLC in Houston. “Demand is staying flat. Nobody’s driving because they have no jobs to go to and no money to spend to drive somewhere else.”

Gasoline for December delivery declined 3.61 cents, or 1.4 percent, to $2.5119 a gallon on the New York Mercantile Exchange at 10:14 a.m. Trading volume on all contracts was 10 percent higher than the 100-day average.

Gasoline’s crack spread versus WTI narrowed 80 cents to $11.42 a barrel. The fuel’s premium versus Brent decreased 32 cents to $1.46.

U.S. pump prices, averaged nationwide, fell 1 cent to $3.222 a gallon, the lowest level since Dec. 19, Heathrow, Florida-based AAA said today on its website. Prices are 24 cents below a year ago.

Ultra-low-sulfur diesel for December delivery fell 2.7 cents to $2.8426 a gallon. Volume was 5.5 percent above the 100-day average.

ULSD’s premium over WTI fell 46 cents to $25.26 a barrel. The spread versus Brent widened 6 cents to $15.34.

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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