Crude, gas prices up ahead of holiday
SIOUX FALLS, S.D. - Energy prices resumed their climb into summer driving season yesterday, a show of confidence that Americans will overlook dismal economic news as they head out on their Memorial Day weekend trips.
Benchmark crude for June delivery jumped $2.69 to settle at $59.03 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange after dropping $2.28 Friday to $56.34.
With the June Nymex contract expiring today, the market was also keeping close tabs on the July contract, which rose $2.59 to settle at $59.59.
Retail gasoline prices inched up again overnight to a new national average of $2.31 for a gallon of regular unleaded, according to auto club AAA, Wright Express, and Oil Price Information Service. That's their highest level since early November, and about 71 cents per gallon above where retail gas ended 2008.
In Massachusetts, gasoline prices rose for the sixth straight week - up 8 cents from last week to average $2.27 per gallon of self-serve regular in the latest survey from AAA Southern New England.
A series of reports calling for even less global energy demand last week undercut optimism that a widespread economic recovery was imminent.
The International Energy Agency, the US Energy Information Administration, and the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries all slashed crude demand expectations.
In London, Brent prices rose $2.49 to $57.47 a barrel on the ICE Futures exchange.