Updated March 30 at 6:25pm

Gas prices surge 7 cents


PROVIDENCE – Gasoline prices in Rhode Island surged 7 cents when compared to last week, AAA Southern New England said Monday.

The auto club’s Jan. 30 survey found the average price of self-serve unleaded, regular gasoline was $3.58; prices have increased by 22 cents during the last month, AAA said.

A year ago, prices in the Ocean State stood at $3.18. On Monday, they ranged from $3.47 to $3.67.

Nationally the average price of regular gasoline was $3.43; prices in Massachusetts added 5 cents to $3.48.

Separately, Bloomberg News reported Monday that gasoline fell for the first time in five days on concern that Greek bailout negotiations will falter, leading to a default and weakening the region’s economy.

Futures fell as European Union leaders prepared to meet to discuss the region’s debt crisis. The leaders won’t finalize Greece’s second aid program Monday because debt talks with banks aren’t complete, German Chancellor Angela Merkel said.

“Should Greece default, the concern is that might lead to instability in other countries and slowing economies that would spread across Europe,” said Andy Lipow, president of Lipow Oil Associates LLC in Houston.

Gasoline for February delivery fell 3.24 cents, or 1.1 percent, to $2.8944 a gallon at 9:19 a.m. on the New York Mercantile Exchange.

EU leaders are also awaiting a European-International Monetary Fund assessment of Greece’s current needs and the status of its economic reforms, Merkel told reporters before a European Union summit in Brussels Monday.

The euro fell for the first time in six days against the dollar, losing 1 percent at 9:18 a.m. in New York. A stronger dollar reduces the investment appeal of commodities.

February-delivery heating oil rose 0.05 cents to $3.0709 a gallon on the exchange, Bloomberg said.

At service stations in Rhode Island this week, the survey found average self-serve prices of $3.71 per gallon for midgrade unleaded, $3.83 for premium unleaded gasoline and $4.00 for diesel.


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