West Texas Intermediate crude climbed for a third day on speculation stronger economic growth in the U.S. will boost demand. Gasoline surged.
WTI narrowed its discount to Brent to a five-month low. Orders for U.S. business equipment climbed more than forecast in August and applications for unemployment benefits increased less than expected last week, government data showed today. Gasoline rallied to a September high following an outage at Irving Oil Corp.’s Saint John, New Brunswick, refinery.
“It’s a headline-driven market for WTI,” said Gene McGillian, an analyst and broker at Tradition Energy in Stamford, Connecticut. “The market is in the process of bottoming and is trying to stabilize.”
WTI for November delivery gained 27 cents, or 0.3 percent, to $93.07 a barrel at 9:12 a.m. on the New York Mercantile Exchange. The contract increased $1.24 to $92.80 yesterday, the highest close since Sept. 18. The volume of all futures traded was about 19 percent above the 100-day average.
Brent for November settlement was 6 cents higher at $97.01 a barrel on the London-based ICE Futures Europe exchange. Volume was 6.7 percent below the 100-day average. The European benchmark crude’s premium to WTI dropped to as little as $3.78 a barrel, the narrowest since April.
Gasoline surged as much as 3.5 percent to $2.7577 a gallon on the Nymex. Conventional, 85-octane gasoline blendstock, or CBOB, in the Gulf reached a premium of 12.25 cents a gallon versus Nymex futures yesterday, the highest level since September 2012, data compiled by Bloomberg showed.