Posted in: Default,
by Patrick DeHaan on Aug 14, 2009 12:53 PM
If there's one thing that can influence gasoline prices more than good earnings reports, it's the report released by the University of Michigan on consumer confidence.
Traders believe there is a direct connection between consumer confidence and gasoline demand, so when confidence drops, they believe demand will follow. The latest report issued showed that consumers are still not ready to open their wallets and spend at rates seen before the recession. This means that along with less discretionary spending, consumers will not require as much fuel as they have in the past.
Before the report was released, oil and gasoline futures were trading higher but almost immediately after the report was issued, oil prices started to slide. Consumers were expected to have a better view of the economy compared to July, but that was not the case.
Also helping push prices lower was the dollar. The dollar gained strength against the euro, making oil more expensive to European nations since oil is traded in dollars.
Oil looks to finish this week below $70 while wholesale gasoline looks to stay under $2. Consumers can expect retail gasoline prices to remain stable or slowly fall over the weekend as a result of today's trading.