Hedge funds raised bullish bets on gasoline to more than a three-month high, helping push prices at the pump to record levels for the U.S. Labor Day holiday, as Hurricane Isaac roared toward the Gulf of Mexico and a deadly blast closed Venezuela’s largest refinery.
Asjylyn Loder, Bloomberg News, reports that money managers increased net-long positions, or wagers on rising prices, by 3 percent in the seven days ended Aug. 28, according to the Commodity Futures Trading Commission’s Commitments of Traders report on Aug. 31. They were the highest since the week ended May 1.
Gasoline futures have advanced 22 percent from a 2012 low in June as stockpiles dropped and refineries closed. Futures reached a four-month high last week as Isaac closed 13 percent of fuel-making capacity on the Gulf coast and a gas explosion at Venezuela’s Amuay plant shut production, threatening to revive the debate about energy costs as President Barack Obama seeks re-election.