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Gasoline Prices Buck The Trend Ahead Of Driving Season

With U.S. gasoline prices trending about 3 cents lower than the same time last week, analysts are now speculating that the banking crisis and broader financial markets concerns may prevent prices at the pump from ticking upwards as they would normally do ahead of the summer driving season.

"The broad concern over recent failures of the U.S. and global banking system has put enough downward pressure on oil prices that we saw a reprieve in rising gasoline prices in the national average last week," said Patrick DeHaan, the senior petroleum analyst for Chicago-based GasBuddy.

DeHaan said that while markets are volatile, and we will see some differentiation in prices as certain states switch to the more expensive summer blend of gasoline, much going forward in the immediate future depends on how the banking crisis plays out.

"Should the outlook for the banking sector improve, we could again see gasoline prices race higher, while continued or additional distress could raise the possibility of a broader economic slowdown, keeping gasoline prices in check," he said. "Overall, there are a lot of possibilities."

Shares of Credit Suisse plunged some 60% early on Monday after its rival, UBS, announced it would take over the bank for $3 billion to shore up global markets. The plunge in Credit Suisse shares last week followed the failures of U.S regional banks Silicon Valley Bank (SVB) and Signature Bank.

According to AAA, Monday’s natural average per gallon of gasoline is $3.443, compared to $3.446 on Sunday, and $3.473 a week ago. Monday was the first time in two weeks that gasoline prices in the U.S. had declined.

Last week, gasoline inventories fell 2.1 million barrels amid maintenance and the usual transition to summer gasoline began to replace less expensive winter fuel. Implied gasoline demand rose by 32,000 bpd. 

By Charles Kennedy for Oilprice.com

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  • George Doolittle on March 20 2023 said:
    Only been saying ten years straight here the US Federal Government needs to cut excise taxes on fuel *IMMEDIATELY IMMEDIATELY IMMEDIATELY IMMEDIATELY* but nooooo, let's watch Banks blow up instead! What a *ROTTEN SYSTEM* Adolf Hitler was only wrong in *NOT BEING HENRY FORD.*

    Anyhow diesel fuel at ten cents a gallon at retail *AS IT SHOULD BE* is INCREDIBLY valuable diesel fuel. It is BUT BY THE GRACE OF GOD FOR ALL OF US Tesla showed up in Texas as well.

    Long $ibm International Business Machines
    Strong buy

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