Gasoline Futures Prices Off

From Associated Press

Gasoline futures prices tumbled lower again Wednesday, weakened by industry data showing the sixth consecutive week of increasing fuel supplies.

"Gasoline demand is just going nowhere," said Peter Beutel, an analyst in New York with Rudolf Wolff Energy. "We continue to have high levels of crude oil runs and this is translating into high levels of supply of gasoline and heating oil."

Figures compiled by the American Petroleum Institute showed a 1.8% increase in gasoline stocks for the week ended last Friday.

For the last three months, gasoline demand has been between 3% and 4% better than a year ago and now is near the lower end of this range, Beutel said.

That compares with the 8% to 12% increases some industry specialits had expected.

"Compared with the rosy predictions, demand so far has to be considered a disappointment," Beutel said.

The slump in gasoline futures Wednesday came despite a 3.5% drawdown in crude oil stocks. Crude futures nonetheless closed lower on the New York Mercantile Exchange, although the losses were more limited than in gasoline.

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