Gasoline RBOB Futures Market News and Commentary
Aug WTI crude oil (CLQ19) this morning is up +0.25 (+0.42%), and Sep Brent crude oil (CBU19) is up +0.35 (+0.53%). Aug RBOB gasoline (RBN19) is up +0.0110 (+0.57%). The energy complex is higher this morning on increased Middle East tensions and on expectations for tighter U.S. supplies. AP reported today that the U.S. suspects that Iran seized a UAE-based oil tanker on Sunday that was navigating through the Strait of Hormuz. If true, that would be an escalation of tensions in the region and could provoke a military response. The London-based Times reported today that the UK Royal Navy said it was sending a third warship to the Persian Gulf to protect UK interests. Iran has vowed retaliation for the UK's seizure of an Iranian oil tanker earlier this month although the UK has reportedly offered to return the tanker if the oil does not go to Syria. Another supportive factor for crude is the consensus for Wednesday's weekly EIA crude inventories to fall -2.75 million bbl, which would be the fifth consecutive weekly decline. Strength in today's U.S. economic data is positive for energy demand and bullish for energy prices after June retail sales rose +0.4% and +0.4% ex-autos, stronger than expectations of +0.2% and +0.1% ex-autos, and after June manufacturing production rose +0.4%, stronger than expectations of +0.3%. On the bearish side is today's strength in the dollar and European economic concerns after today's data showed the German July ZEW expectations index fell by -3.4 points to a 9-month low of -24.5, weaker than expectations of -0.9 to -22.0. Last Wednesday's EIA data showed that U.S. crude oil inventories as of July 5 were +5.3% above the 5-year average, gasoline inventories were +0.01% above the 5-year average, and distillate inventories were -4.5% below the 5-year average.