Gasoline RBOB Futures Market News and Commentary
Aug WTI crude oil (CLQ19) on Tuesday closed down -0.07 (-0.12%), and Aug Brent crude oil (CBQ19) closed up +0.19 (+0.29%). Aug RBOB gasoline (RBN19) closed up +0.0264 (+1.45%). The energy complex settled mixed on Tuesday. Aug WTI crude oil fell back from a 3-week high Tuesday and moved lower after weaker-than-expected U.S. economic data fueled concerns about an economic slowdown that would be negative for fuel demand. Tuesday's data showed that May new home sales unexpectedly fell -7.8% to a 5-month low of 626,000, weaker than expectations of +1.6% to 684,000. Also, the Conference Board's June U.S. consumer confidence index fell -9.8 to a 1-3/4 year low of 121.5, weaker than expectations of -3.1 to 131.0. Losses in crude were limited by increased Iran tensions after Iran said the action by the U.S. on Monday to impose additional sanctions on Iran has closed off any diplomatic means for a solution. President Trump then ratcheted up the rhetoric by saying that any attack by Iran on the U.S. or its interests will be answered with "great and overwhelming force." Gasoline prices still have support from supply concerns after a fire and explosion shuttered gasoline output last Friday at the Philadelphia Energy Solutions oil refinery, the largest refinery on the U.S. East Coast with processing capacity of 350,000 bpd of crude oil. Robust U.S. gasoline demand is supportive for prices after the EIA reported that U.S. gasoline demand rose +0.5% w/w for the week of June 14 to a record 9.928 million bpd. Another supportive factor was Tuesday afternoon’s weekly data from the API that showed U.S. crude stockpiles fell -7.55 million bbl last week. Expectations for Wednesday's EIA report is for crude inventories to fall -2.75 million bbl. Last Wednesday's EIA data showed that U.S. crude oil inventories as of June 14 were a hefty +8.3% above the 5-year average, gasoline inventories were +1.3% above the 5-year average, and distillate inventories were -5.3% below the 5-year average.