Gasoline jumped to a five-week high, following crude’s rally, amid concern that any U.S. military strikes against Syria will lead to a widespread Middle East conflict and oil supply disruptions.
Futures rose as much as 2.3 percent. West Texas Intermediate crude surged to the highest level since May 2011. U.S. officials aren’t limited to a one-day operation, an administration official said as the U.K. drafted a United Nations resolution to condemn last week’s suspected chemical attack in Syria. Syrian Foreign Minister Walid al-Muallem said yesterday “we have the means to defend ourselves, and we will surprise people with them.”
“We’re off the highs, but until we have a clear feeling on how the aftermath of this potential strike in Syria will go, you can’t afford to be short,” said Phil Flynn, senior market analyst at Price Futures Group in Chicago. “All the major oil producers are on opposite sides of the conflict.”
Gasoline for September delivery rose 3.89 cents, or 1.3 percent, to $3.073 a gallon at 9:46 a.m. on the New York Mercantile Exchange. Prices touched $3.1033, the highest intraday price since July 22. Trading volume was 10 percent above the 100-day average.
The U.S. and its allies are still working to define goals for a military strike on Syria, said the official, who was speaking on the condition of anonymity to discuss war-planning efforts. U.S. and British officials say there’s little doubt that Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s forces are responsible for the chemical attacks near Damascus that opposition groups say killed more than 1,300 people.
WTI for October delivery increased 83 cents to $109.84 a barrel on the Nymex, after touching $112.24. October Brent crude on the London ICE Futures Exchange advanced $1.25 to $115.61 after touching a six-month high of $117.34.
The motor fuel’s crack spread versus West Texas Intermediate crude rose 36 cents to $13.68 a barrel. The fuel’s premium over Brent narrowed 5 cents to $7.93.
Pump prices, averaged nationwide, rose 0.4 cent to $3.546 a gallon, Heathrow, Florida-based AAA said today on its website. Prices are 21 cents below a year earlier.
Ultra-low-sulfur diesel for September delivery rose 1.72 cents, or 0.5 percent, to $3.1781 a gallon, after touching a six-month high of $3.216. Trading volume was 33 percent above the 100-day average.
ULSD’s crack spread versus WTI narrowed 2 cents to $23.93 a barrel. The premium over Brentfell 35 cents to $18.25.
Sourced From Bloomberg