Gasoline Rises for First Time in Seven Days as Crude Rallies

Gasoline rose for the first time in seven days as crude oil strengthened after China reported that industrial output expanded faster than anticipated and U.K. exports jumped.

Futures climbed 1.8 percent. Chinese factory production grew 9.7 percent in July, government data showed today, compared with the 8.9 percent median estimate in a Bloomberg News survey of economists. U.K. exports increased to a record 78.4 billion pounds ($122 billion) in June. West Texas Intermediate for September delivery jumped 2.5 percent.

The gasoline price was “supported by crude oil, which is seeing good economic headlines out of the U.K. and China overnight,” said Andy Lipow, president of Houston-based Lipow Oil Associates LLC.

Gasoline for September delivery rose 5.06 cents to settle at $2.9082 a gallon on the New York Mercantile Exchange, the largest increase since July 12. Trading volume was 12 percent below the 100-day average at 3:09 p.m. Futures fell 2.9 percent for the week.

The motor fuel’s crack spread versus West Texas Intermediate crude narrowed 44 cents to $16.17 a barrel, the smallest gap since Jan. 17, 2012. Gasoline’s premium over Brent widened 59 cents to $13.92.

The average pump price slipped an eighth consecutive day, dropping 1.2 cents to $3.577 a gallon, Heathrow, Florida-based AAA said today on its website. Prices fell 4.7 cents this week.

Ultra-low-sulfur diesel for September delivery gained 3.61 cents, or 1.2 percent, to $2.9935 a gallon on trading volume that was 2.9 percent below the 100-day average. The fuel fell 2.5 percent on the week.

ULSD’s crack spread versus West Texas Intermediate crude narrowed $1.05 to $19.76 a barrel. The premium over Brent slipped 2 cents to $17.51.

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