March RBOB prices traded lower overnight, perhaps stabilizing after Friday's wide range advance to their highest level since early May 2011. Some traders also pointed to weakness in crude oil as well as a soft outside market tone as forces contributing to the early morning price decline. March RBOB prices rallied to their best level since early May 2011 on reports that ConocoPhillips was closing a New Jersey refinery due to mechanical issues. Fears of tighter Northeast supplies provided the catalyst for Friday's explosive rally. Trading volume was well above average. There is also talk that the recent rise in crude oil costs for Chinese gasoline production has climbed to a level that may prompt the government to raise fuel prices, and that could be a force offering support to RBOB prices. The Commitments of Traders Futures and Options report as of January 24th showed non-commercial traders were net long 77,860 contracts, an increase of 5,104. Non-commercial and non-reportable traders combined held a net long position of 89,887 contracts, for an increase of 6,451 on the week. Additionally, the spec net long position was just 3,300 contracts away from a record high last Tuesday.
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