PROVIDENCE – Gasoline prices in Rhode Island and Massachusetts were down slightly this week, AAA Southern New England reported Monday.
The auto club’s Oct. 31 survey found the average price of self-serve, unleaded regular gasoline at Ocean State stations was $3.54 per gallon, down 1 cent from a week earlier. In Massachusetts, prices fell 2 cents to an average of $3.41.
Rhode Island prices ranged from $3.34 to $3.70; the national average was $3.45.
According to Bloomberg News, crude oil dropped in New York as the dollar climbed and equities fell, trimming the biggest monthly gain in more than two years.
Futures fell as much as 2.1 percent after Japan stepped in to foreign-exchange markets to weaken the yen against the dollar, making commodities priced in the U.S. currency less attractive to investors. Stocks retreated from a three-month high on concern European leaders will struggle to raise funds to contain the region’s debt crisis.
“The dollar and the equities are the primary drivers and this situation will remain in place,” said Kyle Cooper, director of research for IAF Advisors in Houston. “People realized that all the euphoria last week has not in any way solved the problem in Europe.”
Crude oil for December delivery declined $1.14, or 1.2 percent, to $92.18 a barrel at 10:13 a.m. on the New York Mercantile Exchange. Futures are up 16 percent this month, the biggest gain since May 2009. Oil settled at $93.96 on Oct. 27, the highest level since Aug. 1.
Brent oil for December settlement dropped $1.10, or 1 percent, to $108.81 a barrel on the London-based ICE Futures Europe exchange.
“Given the strength of the dollar and weakness in the equity markets, crude oil will struggle,” said Addison Armstrong, director of market research at Tradition Energy in Stamford, Conn., to Bloomberg News. “The dollar has posted strong gains against most currencies after the Japanese government took steps to curb the yen’s strength.”
At stations in Rhode Island this week, the survey found average self-serve prices of $3.73 per gallon for midgrade unleaded, $3.85 for premium unleaded gasoline and $3.96 for diesel.