America's largest independent petroleum refiner says its losses widened over the past three months with Americans traveling less and the price of crude rising quickly.
Valero Energy Corp. on Tuesday reported a loss of $489 million, or 87 cents per share, for the third quarter, which ended in September. That compares to a profit of $1.2 billion, or $2.18 per share, in the third quarter of last year.
The past year has been particularly bad for refiners because the cost of oil they must buy to make gas, jet fuel and other refined products has been spiking. Demand for fuel has not rebounded, however, because of the recession.
Oil prices have bounced of earlier lows mostly because of the weak dollar. Crude contracts, which are priced in dollars, get more expensive as U.S. currency falls and investors holding euros and other strong foreign money can buy more.