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U.S. gasoline prices edge lower after hitting record high last week

Randy Mancini 5 Mar 13
High gasoline prices at a
FILE PHOTO: People refuel their vehicles with gasoline at the Helios House, the first LEED-certified gas station in the United States, in West Olympic Boulevard in Los Angeles, California, U.S., March 10, 2022. Picture taken March 10, 2022. REUTERS/Bing Guan

March 13, 2022

By Stephanie Kelly

NEW YORK (Reuters) – U.S. gasoline prices at the pump edged lower over the weekend after reaching all-time highs last week following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

Retail gasoline prices fell for the second straight day on Sunday to $4.325 per gallon, below a record of $4.331 hit on Friday, according to American Automobile Association data. Russia’s invasion of Ukraine in late February has roiled energy markets worldwide since, bringing more expensive fuel costs to motorists who have also been hit by higher inflation.

Oil markets have been volatile recently. Global benchmark Brent crude futures rose to $139.13 per barrel last Monday, the highest since 2008. They then plummeted to as low as $105.60 per barrel on Wednesday.

Graphic – U.S. gas pump prices steady at record high: https://graphics.reuters.com/UKRAINE-CRISIS/USA-GASOLINE/mopandbkbva/chart.png

“It appears for now that retail prices have caught up to the rise and oil and are now falling on the big drop in oil that occurred on Wednesday and Thursday,” said Patrick De Haan, head of petroleum analysis at GasBuddy.

“However, there may be slight increases down the road if oil prices edge higher.”

Analysts consider $4 a gallon to be a psychological trigger for consumers filling up at the pump that results in cost considerations for motorists.

Last week, many U.S. and Canadian motorists were already thinking of ways to cut other expenses to pay for fuel.

Graphic – A big change from a year ago: https://graphics.reuters.com/UKRAINE-CRISIS/USA-GASOLINE/dwvkrlqeepm/chart.png

Even with prices edging down, consumer sentiment is unlikely to rise, said Devin Gladden, AAA’s manager for federal affairs.

“Consumers are looking at the long-term impact, which is going to be an expensive summer.”

(Reporting by Stephanie Kelly; Editing by Richard Chang)