National Average Price for Regular Unleaded Current: $2.438; Month Ago: $2.575; Year Ago: $2.281. National Average Price for Diesel Current: $2.890; Month Ago: $3.009; Year Ago: $2.919.
July Brent crude on London’s ICE Futures exchange rose $1.00 to $64.23 a barrel. On the New York Mercantile Exchange, light, sweet crude futures for delivery in July traded at $58.87 a barrel, up $0.73. Tamas Varga of PVM in London said he couldn’t quite understand the strength in crude oil prices, but that investors seemed to be looking for a good excuse to buy, such as the standoff between Saudi Arabia and Yemen. Other factors could be expectations that the Chinese government may take steps to boost economic growth, as well as Monday’s rally in the euro against the dollar, he said. On Monday, The Wall Street Journal’s U.S. dollar index, which measures the value against a basket of 16 currencies, lost 1%; on Tuesday, it was largely flat.
Late Tuesday, the American Petroleum Institute reported a 2.9 million barrel decrease in U.S. oil stocks for last week. The bigger-than-expected stockpile draw is a bullish signal for prices as it indicates healthy demand, analysts said. Brent crude for August delivery rose 2.4% to $65.25 a barrel on London's ICE Futures exchange. On the New York Mercantile Exchange, West Texas Intermediate futures for July were trading up 2% at $61.16 a barrel. Analysts at Commerzbank said that the EIA data is "expected to show the seventh consecutive weekly decrease in U.S. crude oil stocks. If this turns out to be of a similarly high level to that reported by the API, it would lend support to oil prices."