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Gas prices turn upward after long skid

Posted at 7:53 PM, Jul 29, 2012
and last updated 2012-07-29 18:58:53-04

By Matt Smith, CNN

(CNN) – U.S. gasoline prices have gone up by nearly a dime a gallon in the past two weeks, reversing a three-month slide amid an increase in crude oil costs, according to a new nationwide survey.

The average prices of a gallon of regular gasoline at filling stations in the continental United States jumped about 9.6 cents per gallon, to just under $3.51, according to the latest Lundberg Survey. Gas prices had been falling since April 6, skidding downward by 56 cents a gallon by mid-July, survey publisher Trilby Lundberg said Sunday. [BONUS: Click here for cheapest area gas prices]

The price of crude oil — the largest single component of gasoline — on the New York futures market went up about $3 a barrel in the past two weeks, closing Friday at more than $90. That helped drive prices upward, Lundberg said. But she said motorists may see “a comparative period of stability” at the pump.

“Weakness in demand around the world from economic conditions is keeping the price from rising further, while the Middle East tensions and a great deal of noise in the currency markets about the possibility of printing more money in Europe and the United States is having the effect of raising the price of crude,” she said.

The Lundberg Survey samples prices at about 2,500 gas stations across the Lower 48 every two weeks, most recently on Friday. Lundberg said the current price is still 46 cents below the April peak and down more than 10 cents from a year ago.

Jackson, Mississippi, had the cheapest average prices in the latest survey, at $3.14 a gallon. The highest were on Long Island, New York, at $3.83.