Gas prices hover near their ’09 highs
NEW YORK - Gasoline prices remained near their highs for the year yesterday as a weaker dollar and rising global stock markets boosted oil prices.
Prices at the pump fell 0.4 cents overnight to $2.631 a gallon, according to AAA, Wright Express, and Oil Price Information Service. That is down 6 cents from the peak of $2.691, reached Oct. 30.
But the gap between now and a year ago continues to widen. Prices are 52.6 cents higher - about $25 more a month for a typical driver - than last year at this time, when gasoline prices slid along with oil prices as the recession took hold.
Higher prices for gasoline come even as demand for oil and gasoline remains soft.
The Energy Information Administration, in its weekly update released yesterday, put the national average price for a gallon of unleaded regular at $2.629, down 3.7 cents from the previous week and the second straight weekly decline.
For most of this year, oil prices surged as investors pumped money into crude contracts to protect themselves from a weaker dollar. Oil was seen as a safer bet, with demand expected to rise next year as the world’s economies begin to recover.
After hitting their lowest level in a month, oil prices rose yesterday, as the benchmark crude for December delivery rose $2.55 to settle at $78.90 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange.