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Diesel Futures Weaken With Crudes as Libyan Rebels Give Up Ports

Diesel futures fell after Libyan rebels surrendered control of two oil ports to the government, enabling the OPEC country to increase exports.

Prices slid 0.6 percent following the handover by the rebels, who also pledged to return control of two more ports to Libyan authorities. Brent and West Texas Intermediate both dropped for the first time in three days.

“The oil market is under pressure, as it appears that Libyan exports may resume over the next couple of days, and that has dragged down Brent as well as the products,” Andy Lipow, president of Lipow Oil Associates LLC in Houston, said by phone today.

Ultra low sulfur diesel declined 1.72 cents to settle at $2.8907 a gallon on the New York Mercantile Exchange. Volume was 37 percent below the 100-day average as of 3:41 p.m.

The fuel’s crack spread versus U.S. benchmark WTI, based on closing prices, narrowed 2 cents to $20.97 a barrel. The premium over the European benchmark gained 18 cents to $15.59.

May-delivery gasoline slid 0.53 cent, or 0.2 percent, to $2.926 a gallon. Volume was 21 percent above the 100-day average.

The motor fuel’s crack spread versus WTI widened 48 cents to $22.45 a barrel. The premium to Brent rose 68 cents to $17.07.

The average U.S. pump price gained 0.2 cent to $3.579 a gallon, the 16th consecutive increase, according to data from Heathrow, Florida-based AAA.

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