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Gasoline Gains on Optimism Leaders to Act on Debt Crisis

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Aug. 21 (Bloomberg) -- Gasoline rose amid speculation that European leaders will make progress this week on containing the region’s debt crisis, which has threatened the global economy and fuel demand.

Futures advanced for a second day as a senior lawmaker with Chancellor Angela Merkel’s party said concessions are possible for Greece to meet the main targets in its bailout program. The dollar slipped to a six-week low versus the euro, helping spark a broad rally in commodities.

“The signs are that they’re going to cut a deal on Greece and that Merkel is going to give in a little bit,” said Phil Flynn, senior market analyst at Price Futures Group in Chicago. “Bailouts are bullish for the market.”

September-delivery gasoline rose 3.44 cents, or 1.1 percent, to settle at $3.0652 a gallon on the New York Mercantile Exchange. Futures have climbed 20 percent from this year’s low close of $2.5501 on June 21.

European leaders are meeting this week to discuss ways for nations in the region to pay their debts.

“This is providing a little bit of optimism for the market,” said Fred Rigolini, vice president of Paramount Options Inc. in New York.

The euro was up 0.9 percent at 3:14 p.m. in New York. A weaker dollar increases the investment appeal of commodities.

Commodities Rally

The Standard & Poor’s GSCI Spot Index of 24 materials touched the highest level since May 3 and was up 0.9 percent at 3:14 p.m. The gauge has jumped 21 percent from 559 on June 21.

A report by the Energy Department tomorrow will probably show that gasoline inventories fell 1.35 million barrels last week, according to the median estimate of 12 analysts in a Bloomberg survey. In the week ended Aug. 10, stockpiles declined to the lowest for this time of the year since 2008, department data show.

Supplies of distillates, including heating oil and diesel, probably rose 1 million barrels last week, based on the survey.

Heating oil for September delivery rose 3.12 cents, or 1 percent, to $3.1243 a gallon, the highest close since May 2.

Regular gasoline at the pump, averaged nationwide, fell 0.3 cent to $3.717 a gallon yesterday, AAA data showed. That’s the second straight day that prices have been at a daily high. Gasoline has climbed 39.1 cents since July 1, according to data from the nation’s largest motoring organization.

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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