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Gasoline Prices Continue Climb

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Gasoline prices are up again.

Across the U.S., the average price for a gallon of gasoline rose 6.8 cents per gallon in the last week to $2.12 per gallon, according to price-tracker GasBuddy.

Much of the jump at the pump can be blamed on crude oil prices that rose sharply last week as traders bid oil prices higher, optimistic that a weekend meeting between some oil producing countries in Doha, Qatar would net an oil production freeze or cut.

Gasoline prices continued the push higher, following oil, with 49 of 50 states seeing a weekly rise at the pump, with the lone exception being Hawaii, where prices fell three tenths of a penny.

Leading the surge at the pump last week was Kentucky, up 15 cents, Minnesota, up 14 cents, and Illinois, up 14 cents.

While gasoline has risen, diesel prices have followed more slowly, and stand at an average of $2.11 per gallon, up just two cents in the last week. The average price for a gallon of diesel is now cheaper than gasoline, a trend GasBuddy expects will continue for much of the remainder of this year.

On the horizon, however, is a likely slowdown in the pace of increases, thanks to the weekend meeting in Doha, Qatar.

Traders believed that perhaps a cut or freeze would be implemented, curbing production. Neither happened, as bickering between Saudi Arabia and Iran continued. Saudi Arabia indicated it is open to a production freeze, but only if the Iranians would agree- something they’ve said they will not do as their exports ramp up after years of economic sanctions. As a result, the Saudis have said they will raise output sharply. With weekend meeting in Doha now behind us, oil markets face a reckoning: oil production remains much higher than demand, which has led global inventories to continue rising.

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