Friday, April 19, 2013

April fools on lower prices as gas price rollercoaster shoots up

In this morning's update on the gas price rollercoaster, I mentioned how the prices dropped to $3.49 and resisted an attempt to raise them.  That was this morning.  When I went out this afternoon, the prices had shot up 20-30 cents in one day.  The three stations a few blocks away had increased their prices to $3.69, while the corner station once again raised their price more aggressively, hiking it to $3.79.

As for what's causing it, it seems to me like an an attempt to use the past two days of increases in the price of Brent crude to justify padding profit margins.  That's just my opinion.  For the facts, Reuters reports in Oil rises slightly in a second straight day of gains .
Brent crude oil prices rose Friday, at one point pushing back above $100 a barrel, on a second day of modest gains boosted by a strong day in the equity markets to recover some ground after a steep six-day decline.

Brent has fallen nearly 10 percent since the beginning of April, a decline that accelerated earlier this week after a cut in oil demand forecasts by global energy agencies and weak economic data from the United States and China, the world's two largest oil consumers.

Friday marked the second day of gains for Brent after it closed at $97.69 on Wednesday, the lowest level since July 2012 and a price that analysts said was attractive to bargain hunters who hung around for another day of buying.
Analysts said the market seemed to be stabilizing after a week of heavy liquidation in which prices tumbled from over $103 as of last Friday, along with a rout in gold and industrial metals.
Brent crude settled up 52 cents a barrel at $99.65, down from an intraday high of $100.33. U.S. crude gained 28 cents to settle at $88.01.
Oil prices are down more than $10 a barrel from the start of this month. Brent touched its lowest level since July 2012 on Thursday at $96.75 a barrel after commodities took a hammering across the board earlier in the week.
According to the gas price calculator at Econobrowser, a Brent price of $99.65/barrel should result in gas costing $3.33.  That makes even $3.69 look very overpriced.  Even at $110/barrel, where Brent began the month, the price should be $3.59.  That's closer to $3.69, where local gas prices were at the end of last month.  Unless this rally in Brent continues, I expect prices to drop a bit.

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