Gasoline Recovers From Early Loss on Debt-Limit Deal Optimism

Oct. 14 (Bloomberg) -- Gasoline recovered from an early drop, ending the session little changed as U.S. Senate leaders said they’re optimistic about ending a partial government shutdown and keeping the nation from breaching the debt ceiling.

Futures settled 0.13 cent lower after dropping as much as 1.6 percent. President Barack Obama postponed a 3 p.m. meeting with congressional leaders to “allow leaders in the Senate time to continue making important progress” toward a deal, according to a White House statement.

“The meeting is raising expectations that the budget and debt ceiling crisis will be resolved,” said Gene McGillian, an analyst and broker at Tradition Energy in Stamford, Connecticut.

Gasoline for November delivery fell a second day to $2.6668 a gallon on the New York Mercantile Exchange. Trading volume was below average as banks were closed for the U.S. Columbus Day holiday, 40 percent below the 100-day average at 3:49 p.m.

“You’ve got a bank holiday and there’s not a lot of buying coming in,” said Phil Flynn, senior market analyst at Price Futures Group in Chicago. “There’s cautious optimism and there’s a growing sense of unease as we get closer to the debt-ceiling deadline.”

Potential Agreement

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid said lawmakers are “closer” to ending a partial government shutdown and preventing U.S. borrowing authority from lapsing.

The emerging agreement would suspend the debt limit through Feb. 15, 2014, fund the government through Jan. 15, 2014, and require a House-Senate conference on budget matters by Dec. 15, according to a Senate source familiar with the talks, who spoke on condition of anonymity to discuss them.

The congressional deadlock over increasing the U.S. debt ceiling from $16.7 trillion is threatening the U.S. and world economies, said International Monetary Fund Managing Director Christine Lagarde.

The motor fuel’s crack spread versus WTI narrowed 44 cents to $9.60 a barrel. The premium to Brent rose 19 cents to 97 cents a barrel.

Pump prices, averaged nationwide, slipped 0.1 cent to $3.343 a gallon, 45.1 cents below a year ago, Heathrow, Florida-based AAA said today on its website.

Ultra-low-sulfur diesel for November delivery fell 0.32 cent to $3.0317 a gallon on trading volume that was 26 percent below the 100-day average.

ULSD’s premium versus WTI narrowed 52 cents to $24.92 a barrel. The crack spread over Brent rose 11 cents to $16.29.

To contact the reporter on this story: Barbara Powell in Houston at bpowell4@bloomberg.net

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