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NEW DELHI: Asia’s gasoline crack surged on Thursday as a decline in Singapore inventories of light distillates boosted demand sentiment.

The refining profit margin rose to $11.59 a barrel, strongest since Nov. 11, from $10.43 in the last session. Gasoline margins have surged nearly 40% this week over fading Omicron concerns and recovering demand.

“Asia should see minimal demand impact on gasoline for now, as a conservative approach to international flights means that imported cases of Omicron should remain relatively low, minimising the likelihood of stringent large-scale mobility restrictions,” consultancy Energy Aspects said in a note.

Meanwhile, the naphtha crack in the region also gained on hopes of firm demand prospects from petrochemical units as a rebound in crude oil benchmarks boosted prices of alternative cracker feedstock liquefied petroleum gas (LPG), market watchers said.

The crack rose to $156.30 a tonne, highest since Nov 30, from $151.48 in the previous session.

Oil prices eased after early gains on Thursday after measures by some governments to slow the spread of the Omicron coronavirus variant, though losses were capped by positive comments from vaccine makers about the efficacy of their jabs.

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