Gasoline Falls to Lowest Since 2011 as Consumer Confidence WanesDan Murtaugh
Gasoline fell for the fifth time in six days, reaching the lowest level in almost 23 months, as consumer confidence in the U.S. sank for the sixth week in a row and jobless claims were higher than forecast.
Futures slipped 1.8 percent as the Bloomberg Consumer Comfort Index declined to minus 37.9 in the week ended Nov. 3, the worst reading since October 2012, from minus 37.6 the previous week. Jobless claims decreased by 9,000 to 336,000 in the week ended Nov. 2. The median forecast of 53 economists surveyed by Bloomberg called for a drop to 335,000.
“Products are probably feeling the sting of jobless claims not improving,” said Carl Larry, president of Oil Outlooks & Opinions LLC in Houston. “Demand is staying flat. Nobody’s driving because they have no jobs to go to and no money to spend to drive somewhere else.”
Gasoline for December delivery declined 4.49 cents to $2.5031 a gallon on the New York Mercantile Exchange, the lowest settlement since Dec. 19, 2011. Trading volume on all contracts was 23 percent higher than the 100-day average at 3:14 p.m.
Gasoline’s crack spread versus WTI narrowed $1.29 to $10.93 a barrel. The fuel’s premium versus Brent decreased 11 cents to $1.67.
U.S. pump prices, averaged nationwide, fell 1 cent to $3.222 a gallon, the lowest level since Dec. 19, Heathrow, Florida-based AAA said today on its website. Prices are 24 cents below a year ago.
Ultra-low-sulfur diesel for December delivery fell 3.04 cents, or 1.6 percent, to $2.8392 a gallon. Volume was 11 percent above the 100-day average.
ULSD’s premium over WTI fell 68 cents to $25.05 a barrel. The spread versus Brent widened 50 cents to $15.79.