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Gasoline Rises as Job Gains Indicate Stronger Fuel Demand

Gasoline futures advanced as more Americans went to work in March, signaling that demand for the motor fuel will improve for the summer driving season.

Futures rose for a second day as March payrolls increased 192,000 after a 197,000 gain in February that was larger than first estimated, the Labor Department reported. Private employment, which excludes government jobs, surpassed the pre-recession peak for the first time.

“The positive jobs report with more people returning to the workforce is supportive for gasoline demand,” said Andy Lipow, president of Lipow Oil Associates LLC in Houston.

May-delivery gasoline advanced 1.92 cents, or 0.7 percent, to $2.931 a gallon on the New York Mercantile Exchange. Volume was 12 percent below the 100-day average.

The motor fuel’s crack spread versus West Texas Intermediate crude narrowed 9 cents to $21.92 a barrel. Gasoline’s premium to Brent gained 52 cents to $16.32.

The average U.S. pump price rose 0.4 cent to $3.57, the highest since Sept. 8, according to data from Heathrow, Florida-based AAA.

Ultra low sulfur diesel for May delivery advanced 1.53 cents, or 0.5 percent, to $2.9215 a gallon on volume that was 34 percent below the 100-day average.

Diesel’s crack spread versus WTI narrowed 26 cents to $21.51 a barrel. The premium to Brent increased 25 cents to $15.90.

To contact the reporter on this story: Barbara Powell in Houston at

To contact the editors responsible for this story: Dan Stets at Charlotte Porter

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