Updated March 26 at 6:25pm

Gas prices up another 9 cents


PROVIDENCE – Gasoline prices increased another 9 cents this week, AAA Southern New England said Monday.

It is the ninth consecutive week of increases, the auto club said in its Feb. 27 survey. The price of self-serve, regular unleaded gasoline in Rhode Island averaged $3.78 a gallon Monday, 20 cents higher than a month ago. A year ago, prices were 42 cents less expensive.

Nationally, the average price was $3.70; in Massachusetts it was $3.69, the 10th consecutive week it increased in the Bay State.

According to Bloomberg News, oil fell for the first time in eight days after the Group of 20 nations rebuffed calls from euro countries to increase international lending resources, adding to concern that Europe’s debt crisis will slow the economy.

Prices dropped as much as 1.4 percent after International Monetary Fund Managing Director Christine Lagarde warned the world economy is “not out of the danger zone” amid fragile financial systems and rising oil prices. The G-20 said Europe needs to review its financial firewall before any consideration can be given to boosting the IMF’s resources.

“You have the IMF warning about the world economy and the worries about Europe are starting to re-emerging,” said Gene McGillian, an analyst and broker at Tradition Energy in Stamford, Conn. “The market went a little too far on the upside, and it’s now pulling back a bit.”

Oil for April delivery fell 92 cents, or 0.8 percent, to $108.85 a barrel at 10:06 a.m. on the New York Mercantile Exchange. The contract settled at a nine-month high on Feb. 24. Prices have increased 10 percent this year.

Brent oil for April settlement declined $1.28, or 1 percent, to $124.19 on the London-based ICE Futures Europe exchange.

Lagarde, in a statement issued in Mexico City today after a meeting of Group of 20 officials, said that G-20 countries “must now strengthen resilience to further shocks that could result from still fragile financial systems, high public and private debt, and higher world oil prices.”

G-20 statement

The G-20 rebuffed German-led calls to help Europe fight its debt crisis, saying any decision on outside aid hinges on the euro area delivering more financial firepower within two months. The group is “alert to the risks of higher oil prices,” the G-20 said in a statement.

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