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Average gas price rises by 4 cents

By Maria-Jose Subiria

msubiria@news-daily.com

The average price for a gallon of unleaded, regular gasoline in Georgia jumped 4 cents in the last week, according to Jessica Brady, spokesperson for AAA Auto Club South. The increase pushed the average price in the state to $2.63, up from $2.59 last week.

Brady said the current national average, as reported by the American Automobile Association, is now $2.75, compared to $2.73, last week, reflecting a two-cent increase.

The per gallon price increase can be attributed to a couple of factors, said Brady. Crude oil recently closed on the New York Mercantile Exchange at $78.86, an increase of $1.69, from last week. This is due to Tropical Storm Alex, which was predicted to head to the Gulf of Mexico, causing investors concern over possible disruptions at the refineries there, Bady said.

"When a named storm is announced that could possibly affect oil production, it's very common to see the price of crude oil increase as a response," said Brady, in a prepared statement. "Retail gas prices will increase slightly this week before the Independence Day weekend. Consumers can expect to see retail gas prices between $2.70 and $2.80, during the holiday weekend," she added.

The AAA spokesperson also said prices of crude oil may decrease, slightly, because the storm is currently projected to move away from the Gulf of Mexico.

Another possible cause for gas-price changes is the fact that the euro gained value over the dollar late last week, which made crude oil more appealing to foreign investors, boosting its price, she said.

"If the Euro goes up, more people invest in crude oil as a commodity, because crude oil is traded in U.S. currency," Brady explained.