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U.S. gasoline prices reacting to Syria

Sept. 9, 2013 at 7:47 AM

WASHINGTON, Sept. 9 (UPI) -- Nervousness over the possibility of military intervention in Syria is spilling over to energy markets and creating higher prices at the pump, an analyst said.

Motor group AAA reports a national average retail gasoline price for regular unleaded at $3.57 per gallon Monday.

AAA said the U.S. energy markets haven't been faced with production shortfalls because of the Atlantic hurricane season. It said oil prices were high because of tensions in the Middle East and North Africa but that's been offset by high gasoline inventories.

Trilby Lundberg, president of Lundberg Survey, said in a Sunday interview with Bloomberg News "jitters" over Syria were contributing to higher gasoline prices.

"Gasoline prices will not necessarily continue rising from here," she said. "It will depend mostly on what crude-oil prices do."

Retail gasoline prices have been relatively steady since August, though AAA said last week prices were higher than normal for the year.

The U.S. Energy Department said last week gasoline consumption for the first half of 2013 was lower by 0.6 percent, or about 50,000 barrels per day, when compared with the same period last year.

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