Petroleum futures were on track Friday to end the week with gains, despite weaker crude and diesel contracts.

Gasoline futures were bucking the downward trend with the NYMEX July RBOB contract up 1.42cts to $2.515/gal at about 11:20 a.m. ET. If the gains hold, the contract will settle higher for a fourth straight day. The August contract was up by 1.41cts to $2.4992/gal.

ULSD contracts were off by more than 1ct/gal after settling higher in each of the last four trading sessions. The NYMEX July ULSD contract was down 1.55cts to $2.509/gal ahead of midday and the August ULSD contract was 1.35cts lower at $2.5252/gal.

Crude oil declines were lighter with the NYMEX August West Texas Intermediate contract down by 10 cts to $81.19/bbl and September WTI off by 13cts to $80.36/bbl. August Brent crude was down 5cts to $85.66/bbl and September prices were 12cts lower at $84.74/bbl.

Petroleum prices have been moving higher over the past two weeks on healthier demand and reports of tightening stocks.

The Energy Information Administration on Thursday reported U.S. implied gasoline demand rose last week by more than 340,000 b/d to 9.386 million b/d, a number that exceeded consumption in the comparable week of 2023.

Distillate demand rose last week by about 330,000 b/d to 3.977 million b/d, on par with the year ago number.

The agency also reported U.S. crude oil, gasoline and distillate stocks fell last week, with crude holdings falling by 2.5 million bbl, gasoline supplies down by 2.3 million bbl and distillate inventories were off by 1.7 million bbl.

Its expected inventories will remain under pressure during the summer driving season, given that OPEC and its allies earlier this month voted to keep voluntary production cuts in place through much of the summer.

The two-week run of stronger petroleum futures has pressured gross rack-to-retail margins for gasoline and diesel, which remain solid, but weakened sharply over the last week.

U.S. gasoline margins averaged 35cts/gal on Friday, down 8.3cts from last week and down 14.6cts from four weeks ago, according to OPIS MarginPro data. Diesel margins averaged 49.4cts/gal, down 4.6cts from last week and 21.2cts below where they were four weeks ago.

This content was created by Oil Price Information Service, which is operated by Dow Jones & Co. OPIS is run independently from Dow Jones Newswires and The Wall Street Journal.

--Reporting by Steve Cronin,; Editing by Jeff Barber,

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

06-21-24 1240ET