Gas prices jump at some stations in Greater Victoria

Gas prices jump at some stations in Greater Victoria
Gas prices increased to 146.9 cents a litre on Feb. 3, 2020.

Gas prices increased to $1.469 a litre at some Greater Victoria stations on Monday.

As of Monday afternoon, some stations were still at $1.389.

A year ago, gas was about $1.278 on Feb. 1, 2019, in Victoria.

The price jump is in sharp comparison to the United States where the national average price of gas has fallen due to oil prices dropping over worries about the spread of coronavirus. 

However, GasBuddy says government data from the United States shows refiners slowing down ahead of the maintenance season, or perhaps cutting inputs due to the “bleak season.” U.S. refineries provide some of the Lower Mainland and Island’s gasoline.

Oil Prices Down

North American stock markets rebounded from last week’s selloff even though fear of weaker Chinese economic demand pushed crude oil into bear market territory.

“It’s a bit of a reversal of the reaction on Friday to the coronavirus and how severe it could be,” Anish Chopra, managing director with Portfolio Management Corp.

“As more data points come in investors are just constantly reassessing what the economic impact will be to different countries and different companies.”

The Toronto stock market lost nearly 200 points on Thursday and Friday as worries about the coronavirus expanded as the number of people infected surpassed the total reached during the SARS epidemic in 2002-2003.

The S&P/TSX composite index closed up 61.27 points Monday at 17,379.76.

In New York, the Dow Jones industrial average was up 143.78 points at 28,399.81. The S&P 500 index was up 23.40 points at 3,248.92, while the Nasdaq composite was up 122.46 points at 9,273.40.

West Texas Intermediate prices have fallen 22 per cent from its early January peak to just shy of US$50 on Monday.

Oil prices have been dropping as investors worry that the Chinese economy will slow because of the deadly virus and weaken demand from the world’s largest oil importer. The Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries is reportedly considering cutting output by another 500,000 barrels per day in response.

“Certainly the coronavirus and what is happening globally is going to have an impact on global growth, it’s going to slow global growth,” Chopra said in an interview with The Canadian Press. “The question is how much. I think markets and investors are constantly reassessing that as data comes in daily.”

Energy and materials were the only two of 11 major sectors on the TSX to lose ground Monday.

Lower oil prices pushed down the shares of several large Canadian producers including Crescent Point Energy Corp. and Imperial Oil.

With files from The Canadian Press


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