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Gasoline Sinks on Concern Europe’s Debt Crisis Will Spread

June 11 (Bloomberg) -- Gasoline slid to a five-month low on concern that Spain’s request for a bailout won’t forestall a spread of the European debt crisis, threatening the global economic recovery and fuel demand.

Futures fell 1.1 percent as Spain asked euro-region governments over the weekend for as much as 100 billion euros ($125 billion) to help shore up its banking system. Greek voters go to the polls this weekend to decide whether to honor that country’s international bailout.

“All the same problems are still here. The only thing you’re doing is buying some time and Greek elections are coming up,” said Gene McGillian, an analyst and broker at Tradition Energy in Stamford, Connecticut.

Gasoline for July delivery fell 2.86 cents to $2.6566 a gallon on the New York Mercantile Exchange, the lowest settlement since Dec. 28. Prices are down 1.1 percent this year after being up as much as 27 percent through March 26.

Spain became the fourth country in the 17-member currency union to seek an emergency bailout.

The government in Athens has “a few weeks” before exhausting its funds, making this is “a make-or-break period,” former Greek Prime Minister George Papandreou told Bloomberg Television in a June 8 interview.

Polls show the June 17 election in Greece may be a close race. New Democracy, Greece’s largest pro-bailout party, led anti-bailout Syriza by 22.7 percent to 22 percent, according to an ANT1 TV poll on June 1, the last date surveys were made public. An election on May 6 failed to produce a viable governing majority.

Earlier Rise

Futures rose as much as 2.5 percent earlier in electronic trading on news of Spain’s request for a bailout and as China’s shipments grew last month at more than double the pace analysts estimated and crude oil imports reached a record.

“People still have concerns what the end result will be in Spain and whether it does anything to improve their economy. And you have the Greek elections this weekend,” said Andy Lipow, president of Lipow Oil Associates LLC in Houston. “

Regular gasoline at the pump, averaged nationwide, fell 0.2 cent to $3.54 a gallon yesterday, according to AAA. Prices have fallen 26 straight days to the lowest level since Feb. 17.

July-delivery heating oil fell 3.64 cents, or 1.4 percent, to settle at $2.6357 a gallon on the exchange.

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

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

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