Gas and oil prices move upThe Associated Press | February 04,2013AP Photo
Samir Shabo fills his tank at a Mobil gas station in Chicago last week. Gasoline prices jumped at the end of the week as rising economic growth boosted oil prices and temporary refinery outages crimped gasoline supplies on the East and West Coasts.NEW YORK ó Weekend travelers did a double-take at the gas station after Fridayís biggest one-day pop in pump prices in nearly two years.
The nationwide average price for a gallon of gas jumped 4 cents overnight to $3.46 a gallon Friday, according to AAA. That made a three-day gain of 10 cents and, for the first time in 2013, gas now costs more than it did a year ago.
The biggest increases happened out West. The average price in California rose nearly 6 cents Friday to $3.82 a gallon.
The largest previous one-day gain occurred on March 4, 2011, when the average price jumped by 4.4 cents.
Overall, gas prices are now up 17 cents this year. The main reason is a 6.5 percent increase in the price of oil. But a heavy schedule of January maintenance at West Coast refineries has contributed to sharply higher prices. Meanwhile, low supplies of gas have pushed prices higher on the East Coast.
Hopes of stronger economic growth in the U.S. and abroad helped push the U.S. stock market to a five-year high in January and sent crude prices up. When economies expand, more gasoline, diesel and jet fuel are consumed by shippers and travelers.
Retail gasoline prices have risen for 15 days straight, according to AAA, Oil Price Information Service, and Wright Express. The average price for the month of January was $3.32, the second highest January average ever, although a nickel cheaper than last yearís record.
The national average price has risen in nine of the last 10 Februarys. Last year gasoline prices jumped 28 cents, or 8 percent, in February and averaged $3.55 for the month. Analysts still donít expect prices to follow last yearís steep path through March that brought them to a high of $3.94 on April 6.
Meanwhile, oil rose Friday as traders took their cue from the soaring stock market, after some initial disappointment with the latest report on U.S. employment, which saw 157,000 jobs added in January.
Oil dropped about $1 right after the report was released. It turned around as U.S. stock markets opened higher. Also, a separate report showed U.S. manufacturing activity grew at a faster pace in January, which is a good sign for oil demand.
Benchmark oil for March delivery rose 28 cents to finish at $97.77 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange.
Brent crude, used to price international varieties of oil, was up $1.21 to end at $116.76 a barrel on the ICE Futures exchange in London.
- Most Popular
- Most Emailed
- RICHARD'S POOR ALMANACK: On this day 1739, 'Richard Palmer' identified in prison at York Castle as the notorious outlaw DICK TURPIN; IN 1836, Battle of the Alamo begins near San Antonio de Bexar, Texas; 1896, the Tootsie Roll invented by LEO HIRSCHFELD.
- RICHARD'S POOR ALMANACK: On this day in 1472, Orkney, Shetland islands put up as collateral by Norway to Scotland in lieu of dowry for MARGARET OF DENMARK on her marriage with JAMES III, king of Scotland; 1962, JOHN GLENN first American to orbit Earth.
- TOMORROW'S HEADLINES TODAY: City mayoral candidates debate campaign issues; Hartford, Conn., woman still missing; Neal Goswami reports attempts to legislate suicide; local woman loses 100 pounds through TOPS program.
- RICHARD'S POOR ALMANACK: On this day in 1878, JOHN TUNSTALL murdered near Lincoln, New Mexico, by the outlaw JESSE EVANS; in 1930, ELM FARM OLLIE first cow to fly in aircraft, first to be milked airborne; 1955, nuke test WASP; '79, snow in Sahara.
- TOMORROW'S HEADLINES TODAY: Rutland Herald News Editor Alan J. Keays and staff writer Gordon Dritschilo discuss stories planned for the February 18, 2015, edition of the newspaper: Winter budgets maxed, legal marijuana, Springfield bank job, USPS slowdown
- RICHARD'S POOR ALMANACK: On this day in 1249 AD, ANDRE of LONGJUMEAU is dispatched by LOUIS IX of France to meet the KHAGAN, ruler of the Mongol Empire; in 1804, during 1st Barbary War, STEPHEN DECATUR scuttles the pirate-held USS Philadelphia in Tripoli.