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Markets Take Breather after Monday's Rally

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The big news in the energy complex was the continued leak at Elgin in the North Sea. The six nautical mile wide gas slick caused by the leak is forcing other operators to evacuate as a precautionary measure. If the timing of restarting production that was shut in by the leak (estimated at over 100,000 barrels per day) is stretched, then a further elevation of prices for Brent futures is likely.

Brent traded lower while the WTI ended higher on the day. On the NYMEX, May contracts for light, sweet crude gained 30 cents to $107.33 per barrel. May futures for Brent closed down slipping 11 cents to $125.54 per barrel.

Gasoline demand continues to slacken. The MasterCard SpendingPulse survey estimated demand fell 1.5 percent to 8.65 million barrels. This is the 30th week of lowered demand. Prices also fell on the day for May reformulated gasoline blendstock, dipping 1 cent to finish at $3.39 per gallon.

Natural gas was also a loser Tuesday. May futures fell nearly 3 cents to settle at $2.294 per MMBtu.

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