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Gasoline Falls on Concern Debt Crisis Will Lower Demand

Gasoline fell on concern that Europe’s debt crisis will weaken the global economy and as German business confidence slid.

Futures declined as European Union President Herman Van Rompuy warned today against “a tendency of losing the sense of urgency.” German business confidence sank in September, the Ifo institute in Munich said.

“There’s more bearish economic news and discord among European leaders about integration of the banking system and Spanish needs for a bailout,” said Andy Lipow, president of Lipow Oil Associates LLC in Houston.

Gasoline for October delivery fell 2.49 cents, or 0.9 percent, to settle at $2.9176 a gallon on New York Mercantile Exchange.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel and President Francois Hollande disagreed on a timetable for starting joint oversight of Europe’s banking sector. The Ifo institute said its business climate index for Europe’s biggest economy, based on a survey of 7,000 executives, dropped for a fifth straight month to 101.4 from 102.3 in August.

“The economic uncertainty that seems to be our strongest driver appears to be rising again and now the dollar is up pretty strongly,” said Gene McGillian, an analyst and broker at Tradition Energy in Stamford, Connecticut.

The euro slid 0.4 percent against the dollar at 3:27 p.m. in New York. A stronger dollar reduces the investment appeal of commodities.

Euro Under Pressure

“The euro has been under pressure all day,” said Phil Flynn, vice president of research at PFGBest in Chicago. “Add to that that it is the shoulder season and refineries are coming back online.”

The premium of October gasoline to the November contract increased as East Coast stockpiles of reformulated gasoline, or RBOB, are at a four-year low, according to Energy Department data. The gap widened 0.69 cent to 12.99 cents a gallon, the largest spread between the first- and second-month contracts since Aug. 31.

Delta Airlines Inc. is restarting the Trainer refinery in Pennsylvania it bought last year from ConocoPhillips. Delta expects the 185,000-barrel-a-day refinery to be operating at normal rates by the end of the month.

Regular gasoline at the pump slipped for a 10th consecutive day, dropping 0.6 cent to $3.808 a gallon yesterday, AAA data show. Prices reached a 2012 high of $3.936 on April 4.

October-delivery heating oil declined 2.2 cents, or 0.7 percent, to settle at $3.0987 a gallon on the exchange, the first loss in three days.

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