Analyst predicts strong third quarter for refiners

US integrated refiners should enjoy a profitable third quarter, according to a recent report from UBS Securities LLC.According the report, integrated refiners have enjoyed an "extremely healthy" macro environment, characterized by:Oil prices that increased sequentially and year over year. West Texas Intermediate prices averaged $31/bbl in July and August, which is $2/bbl greater than the previous quarter and almost $3/bbl greater than the same period in 2002.Lower natural gas prices. Even though natural gas prices are higher than they were in 2002, they have decreased from the second quarter of 2003, to $4.87/Mcf from about $5.40/Mcf.Sharply higher US refining margins in July and August. ...

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