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Petrobras Jumps on Possible Gasoline Price Increase

Petroleo Brasileiro SA, Brazil’s state-controlled oil company, rose to the highest in four weeks after Energy Minister Edison Lobao signaled the government is considering raising regulated gasoline prices.

Petrobras, as the Rio de Janeiro-based producer is known, rose 4 percent to 19.65 reais at the close in Sao Paulo, the highest price since May 22.

Lobao, who as recently as June 13 said Brazil wouldn’t increase gasoline prices this year, told reporters in Rio de Janeiro today that the government is constantly reviewing them.

“We’re permanently studying the topic and will have a conclusion in some time,” Lobao said. “There are concerns from Petrobras.”

Petrobras sells imported gasoline at a loss because of price controls aimed at keeping inflation in check and will have to raise prices at some point, Chief Executive Officer Maria das Gracas Foster told reporters in Rio de Janeiro on June 15.

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